Today (Jan. 19, 2017) marks the 10th anniversary of the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink. Dink was shot dead by a young Turkish ultranationalist outside the office of the Agos newspaper, where he was editor-in-chief.
Ten years have passed and the investigation into the killing drags slowly on, but Dink’s shining legacy remains undimmed despite seismic shocks in Turkey in the years since.
Born in the Anatolian city of Malatya – which once had a large Armenian population but now almost none – Dink moved to Istanbul and in 1996 sprung to prominence by founding Agos. Agos was not the first or only Armenian newspaper in Turkey but it was the first to be published in Turkish as well as Armenian, allowing a debate of issues that had long remained taboo.
Dink’s death became a symbol of the peril of such moves. The photograph of his corpse covered by a sheet, with just the soles of his shoes complete with a hole showing, underlined the tragedy. And although his assassin, just 17 at the time, was rapidly arrested and sentenced, the trial into the killing still grinds on with Dink’s supporters losing confidence on its ability to shed light on the plot.
Dink’s assassin, Ogun Samast, is still behind bars but the trial into dozens of police accused of covering up the plot rumbles on.