Editorial: In Our Own Words

Editorial: In Our Own Words

“Denial”. The word that has been on Armenian lips ever since our
near-annihilation in the early 20th century and the perpetrator’s
relentless attempt at quashing all evidence of it. The 5th anniversary
of Hrant Dink’s murder pushes this word back into the news as we are
expected to believe that the laws of the Turkish state justly tried
his murderers.

The Republic of Turkey once again finds itself denying certain
freedoms and implementing a false democracy – something which Dink
constantly called public attention to. Zaman Daily stated that “This
verdict proves once more that in this country the law exists to
protect primarily the state and not the individuals.”

The estimated 20,000 people who flooded the streets of Istanbul on
January 19th proclaiming “We are all Hrant Dink, we are all Armenians”
most definitely have something to say about the verdict, insisting
that the case went deeper than only those convicted. The murder was an
example of racism and Turkish hatred against Armenians, but we
Armenians should be careful to not return this negativity. The Turk
that marched from the streets of Taksim Square shouting “We are all
Armenian” is not the same Turk that committed Genocide 97 years ago.
We are increasingly witnessing a new mentality take hold in the mind
of the average Turk: that which pushes not to refute Turkish history
but rather to seek the truth and embrace their wrongdoings.

Dink was an advocate of democracy. The new generation of Armenians in
the Diaspora should believe in the Turks for not all are like Ogun
Salmast or Yasin Haysal, but if Turkey is to take real steps towards
democracy and acknowledgement of its past, however dark, it will come
from its people. The coming year should bring about new developments
as Turks are becoming ever more aware of and vocal against the
undemocratic acts their government commits. They are beginning to open
their eyes up to their country’s history, as proved by their activity
regarding the online Armenian Genocide “I Apologise” petition, which
collected thousands of signatures from those citizens. Unsurprisingly
though, knowing Turkey’s reputation for repressing freedom of speech
not least by the likes of Article 301, this petition was soon shut

We should not forget it is the Turkish Government that refuses to
accept the Armenian Genocide, not the Turkish librarian, fishmonger,
teacher or salesman. Hrant Dink’s assassination, with its suspicious
circumstances, was seen by Armenians as the 1,500,001st victim of the
Armenian Genocide, and it is with the help of the Turkish people that
we expressed to the world the gravity of his murder. While Turkey’s
courts have consigned the case to the history books by classifying it
a simple homicide, we and many Turks believe there are deeper forces
at play linking it to the country’s government. With such thoughts the
Turkish people assist us in maintaining the pressure on the Turkish
government for just acknowledgement of their past. Case not closed.

From: Baghdasarian


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