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Mouradian: No One Is Hrant Dink: 96 Years of Solitude, and 4 Years of the Same

Four years after Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s assassination on a street in Istanbul, I still have not reconciled myself with the “We are all Hrant Dink, We are all Armenian” mantra that thousands in Turkey chanted at Dink’s funeral, and hundreds of writers repeated in the months and years that followed.

No one is Hrant Dink. Even Hrant Dink was sometimes not himself, because one cannot fully be oneself—as a public intellectual and, more importantly, as an Armenian—and get away with it in Turkey.

Speaking at a Dink memorial event in Boston a few days after his assassination, I was not simply pointing out the obvious when I said that no one is Hrant Dink. I only saw one man—lying bullet-ridden, face down, on the sidewalk. He was alone. Where were all the other Hrant Dinks then?

After that fateful day—out of guilt, anger, or resignation, I do not know—many in Turkey who knew Hrant became more vocal. And many who hadn’t known him now did, and their lives were affected profoundly. Yet, despite the outpouring of emotion and ink, despite the outrage in Turkey and beyond, and despite—or should I say because of—the incessant repetition of “We are all Hrant Dink, We are all Armenian,” Hrant is no less lonely today than he was four years ago on that sidewalk.

After all, the individuals responsible for the crime have not been apprehended, and the person who allegedly pulled the trigger is counting the days until his imminent release. Moreover, Hrant’s name is being employed as a seal of approval and justification for the words and deeds of many of his colleagues and acquaintances—as if having known Hrant exempts one from the responsibilities that come with being a public intellectual.

To cement this edifice of infallibility by association, it was necessary to posthumously grant Hrant himself the status of infallibility. Oftentimes, critique of some of Hrant’s words and deeds has been dismissed categorically, without examination, and considered an insult to his memory. Worse, some progressive writers and activists in Turkey present their projects and products to Armenians, Turks, and the rest of the world by branding them as endorsed by Hrant—and therefore outside the realm of criticism.

I only saw one man lying bullet-ridden, face down, on the sidewalk. He was alone. Where were all the other Hrant Dinks then?

No one is Hrant Dink. Even Hrant Dink was sometimes not himself, because one cannot fully be oneself—as a public intellectual and, more importantly, as an Armenian—and get away with it in Turkey, where the pressure to tone discourse down, to criticize and lament within limits, to applaud the most insignificant act of dissidence as the paragon of heroism is overwhelming, insurmountable.

No one, then, is Hrant Dink, and no one, by the way, is Armenian. Lecturing in air-conditioned rooms about the importance of Turkey confronting the past does not equip an intellectual or activist in Turkey today with the right to “share,” “feel,” and “understand” the pain of Armenians, and mourn their destruction and dispossession—let alone be Armenians.

Speaking in Istanbul on April 24 to a group of intellectuals and activists, the one message I tried to convey was the impossibility to share, feel, and understand—and, in the greater scheme of things, its unimportance. The Turkish national economy (milli ekonomi) was built to a considerable extent on the violent dispossession of Armenians. The power asymmetry between Turkey and Armenia today is a product of that dispossession. And the burden of dispossession makes words of sharing, feelings, and understanding ring hollow, no matter how genuine they are.

But there is a way forward. A true engagement with Armenians begins from the point of utter dispossession and humiliation—on the sands of Der Zor. It is time for citizens of Turkey to leave the air-conditioned halls and walk in Der Zor in remembrance and commemoration; and then contemplate meaningful steps of addressing and redressing the Armenian Genocide and its consequences.

66 Comments on Mouradian: No One Is Hrant Dink: 96 Years of Solitude, and 4 Years of the Same

  1. One of the best articles I have read on this issue. You put your finger on the wound, and boy it hurts!

  2. Absolutely correct. Thank you

  3. everbody must learn what happent in the history, it is not only for the past, it is necessary for the future hope to leave together again as a Turkish citezen.

  4. Istanbul (historically Constantinople):   I didn’t quite make out what you wished to deliver in you comment. Could you be more precise, please? In particular, who you mean “everybody” that must learn what happened in history? You mean Turks, too? If yes, which version of history? Kemalist? Also, for whose future you mean history is important to live together again as Turkish citizens? Thank you in advance for your explanations.

  5. Very well put Khatchig jan, I couldn’t put it better myself.  How very true, no one is Hrant Dink; after all, he is the 1,500,000+1 massacred, annihilated, killed in cold blood.  Our grandparents, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, great cousins and great uncles and aunts that were either barbarically and mercilessly killed or walked the most unbelievably horrible and the horrific death marches they had to walk before dying, could not be understood by any other nation than the Armenians and the children and the children’s children of the Armenians, let alone any Turkish citizen of today.  Todate, the Turkish government is yet to punish the murderer.  I wonder who the real murderer was; was it the 17 year old teanager only?

  6. It seems to me, after much reflection, that Khatchig Mouradian is here saying at heart that there is no difference in worth between Hrant Dink’s life and the lives of the hundreds of thousands of others who were destroyed during the Genocide simply because they were struggling to be Armenians in Turkey.

  7. Khachig, with these words you wrenched my heart and showed the sad state of Armenian-Turkish relations and lack of depth of the Turkish response to Armenian pain:
    “Yet, despite the outpouring of emotion and ink, despite the outrage in Turkey and beyond, and despite—or should I say because of—the incessant repetition of “We are all Hrant Dink, We are all Armenian,” Hrant is no less lonely today than he was four years ago on that sidewalk.”
     
     
     

  8. avatar Garbis Malhas // January 15, 2011 at 4:14 am // Reply

    True, oppression does not equal Genocide, but Armenians are not the only oppressed people in TC.It is implied that the Turkeys intellectuals were just an audience from their comfortable venue, but there can be no denying that Hrant’s murder brought all oppressed and massacred peoples together through all continents; even though,  the memory of who he was and stood for may be misrepresented for political expediency by all, his legacy will always be that he loved his country and stood up for all oppressed people of our lands.

  9. My grandfather, Nazar Iskenian, was the only one of his family to survive the march from Aintab to Aleppo. He was a boy, and played dead, then survived with one hidden pomegranate.
     
    As US Rep Adam Schiff has articulated, “The denial of Genocide is the final act of genocide”.
     
    Turks must realize that outside their state, the whole world sees the genocide for what it is, and Turks as intellectually dishonest, and cowardly for denying it.
    Outside of their propagandized text books, every other nation knows the truth, and sees the denial as moral bankruptcy.

  10.    I applaud the Weekly and in particular, Khatchig, for continuing to challenge our thinking on our dynamic relationship with emerging and traditional elements of Turkish society. It is clear that the outpouring of support in Turkey following the ruthless murder of Hrant Dink, has allowed many Turks a safe way to express sincere grief and perhaps feelings of societal guilt; but is quite different from effecting real change in Turkey.
         While I beleive that as Armenians we should always reject overt ethnocentric behavior on either party’s part, we must also reject partonizing any overture by “enlightened” Turks. Those elements of Turksih society that feel compassion over Hrant’s murder or are willing to accept the truth of their predecessor government, must be willing to go beyond feelings of guilt or remorse…. they must engage our people at the core level of our pain, ” the dispossesion” as Khatchig describes it.
               This is what Armenians fear…. that all of this ends with apologies and public statements of acknowledgment. I am not interested in Turks feeling “sorry” for the crimes of their grandparents if that is their end point. If it is a transition in their thinking that leads to connecting with our pain…. the dysfunctional nature of human rights in their society…. the loss of our property, the loss of an historic homeland… the very destruction of our presence to this day… then perhaps there can be integrity in these encounters.
          As we open new fronts in our quest for justice, I am grateful for the contributions of the Weekly and posters on this site. While many Armenians will reject any Turkish overture and others can accept the patronizing behavior, Khatchig reminds us that there is a more appropriate option…. challenge, confront, advocate and set the bar high.

  11. avatar Grant Izmirlian // January 16, 2011 at 1:51 am // Reply

    Great point and extremely well made! Բարուելնէս !!

  12. avatar Narbey Derbekyan // January 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm // Reply

    Khatchig,
    Very well put. Thank you for stating the honest reality of Hrant Dink legacy.
     

  13. Stepan, I appreciate your utterings above, and this is how almost all Armenians and I feel about.  Say somewhere in the US or in Europe, in civilized continents and states; a man called Tom in the neighborhood of Harry, goes and kills Harry and his entire family excepting one child but was able to get away with it.  Then the child grows up elsewhere and comes back one day to his paternal home and demands Tom to give him back his father’s home, belongings and lands.  But if Tom refuses, then he goes through legal channels as the heir of his father’s house and lands to get back what is owing to him.  Do you think for a minute that the law of the land will not grant Harry’s son to take back what was owing to him?  Of course not, then that’s exactly how we feel as the heirs of the survivers of the A.G.  We should be able to demand through International legal channels the Wilson Arbitration Award that continues to be a valid legal document and it is due to us, every Armenian alive.  We don’t care less about the Turks’ apology without reparations.  What we demand that it is due to us, our historical and anscestral lands to be given back to us, since the Turks committed the Armenian Genocide.

    • Dear Seervant, and all,
      If all of us reclaim “our” “historical and anscestral lands,” then most of European countries, modern China, Russia, Israel, United States etc would not exist anymore. A citizen of Turkey or Azerbaijan could claim modern Armenia as “our” land as well from that perspective. My point is that you should recognize that the historical identities and borders, in the case of Armenians and Turks, are not separable. The shared Ottoman cultural heritage, you like it or not, is partly Armenian (as it is partly Jewish, partly Kurdish, partly Arab, etc). Instead of reclaiming the lands beyond the artificial borders of countries, it would be more peaceful, sustainable, realistic and ethical to challenge the artificial borders, and work for our coexistence. Many Turkish citizens (from different religious and ethnical backgrounds) are working for this aim, against border-friendly angry conservatives like you, Seervant. “They are Hrant”, and your approach is assasinating them.
      We used to coexist for centuries, and we can coexist in the new world as equal citizens with equal democratic rights. If you want “your” lands back, I recommend supporting the Hrants and all pluralist democratic steps in Turkey; else borders between you and your Armenian history will stand forever.
      Mouradian has a good point, but the article seems to overlook at thousands of Turkish citizens who have been demonstrating day and night under rain and snow, bullied by the nationalist conservatives, and even put to jail. They are more Hrant than you Seervant, or than Mouradian, who comfortably sits in front of his PC somewhere in the US and has no idea about the democratic struggles we have in the region. Hrant is non-violent resistance, and I am quite happy to say that there are non-Armenians who are more Hrant than you are.
      Peace,

  14.   Seervart, you are correct and that is why our cause is entering a very interesting phase.
    For decades, we Armenians have yearned for the approval of the world through recognition initiatives. Although these are noble and well intentioned, they are a huge drain of resources and our people are beginning to realize that recognition in and of itself is not the end. Justice lies with a correction to the “dispossesion”( I love Khatchig’s phrase) through reparitions.
                The increase in litigation and expected use of other legal channels in the future not only represents new possibilities for our cause but signifys a shift in the thinking of activism within our community. It illustrates thinking and action beyond recognition. This is significant and we should expect a robust response from the Turks… as this strikes at their biggest fear…. our loss of property and our land.
          Our recipe for success is beginning to find the required balance. May God Bless all who pursue our noble cause.

  15. “No one is Hrant Dink. Even Hrant Dink was sometimes not himself, because one cannot fully be oneself…”
    i like the article and i like the angle from which Khachig Mouradian has approached to d main subject; however, beside knowing the history or even introducing it 2 others, there’s a much imp thing, “ACTION” we have to do sth new, sth that would have an outcome, not only lectures, memoirs, or events for April 24 and for all our ancestors, but for d new generation and d future of Armenians, cse we are REALLY in a downfall… We have to be courageous enough as HRANT DINK  in d middle of the wolf packs… it’s also true that, we r not ourselves sometimes… however, we should b like him, at least he did sth. so i am Hrant Dink, or better want to be like him.
    thank  u!

  16. I just read Ragip Zarakolu’s column about Mouradian’s artikel. It is spreading like virus (in good way) in Turkey:
    http://www.sesonline.net/php/genel_sayfa_yazar.php?Yazar=Rag%FDp+Zarakolu&KartNo=55769

    and here is one of the translations of Mouradian’s artikel that is being circulated:

    Kimse Hrant Dink Değil: 96 ya da 4 yıllık Yalnızlık

    Khatchig Mouradian

    Ermeni gazeteci Hrant Dink’in sokak ortasında öldürülmesinden dört yıl sonra bile, cenazede binlerce insanın, daha sonra da yüzlerce yazarın Dink’in ölümünü takip eden aylar ve yıllar boyunca tekrarladıkları “Hepimiz Hrant’ız” , “Hepimiz Ermeniyiz” mantrasıyla bir türlü barışamadım.
    Öldürülmesinden birkaç gün sonra Boston’da Dink anısına düzenlenen anma toplantısında, kimse Hrant Dink değil derken meramım yalnızca malûmu ilân etmek değildi.  Kurşunlanmış, kaldırımda yüz üstü yatan bir tek oydu. Yanlızdı. Peki ya diğer Hrant’lar neredeydi?
    Doğru, o kahreden günün ardından, suçluluk duygusundan, kızgınlıktan, umutsuzluktan ve muhtelemen daha pek çok başka nedenden, Türkiye’de Hrant’ı tanıyanların sesi daha çok duyulur oldu. Tanımayanlar da onu tanıdı ve onu tanımak pek çok insanın hayatını derinden etkiledi. Ortaya dökülen tüm duygular, gerek Türkiye’de gerekse Türkiye dışında yazılan çizilenler, ve belki de “Hepimiz Hrant’ız”, “Hepimiz Ermeniyiz” mantrası nedeniyle, bugün Hrant dört yıl öncesine göre çok daha yalnız.
    Sonuç olarak suçun failleri adalet önüne çıkmadı. Tetiği çektiği iddia edilenler serbest kalacakları güne doğru geri saymaya başladı. Bütün bunlara ilaveten, Hrant’ın ismi, tanıdıkları, meslektaşları tarafından  kendi söylediklerini haklı çıkarmak için  kullanılıyor. Sanki Hrant’ı tanımak insanı kamusal alanda entelektüel olmanın sorumluluklarından kurtarırmış gibi… 
    Onu tanımanın haklı ve doğru olmaya yettiği kanaatini iyice pekiştirmenin yolu, ölümünden sonra Hrant’a haklılık ve doğruluk payesi vermekten geçiyordu. Bunun için, sıklıkla, Hrant’ın söylediklerini ya da yaptıklarını eleştirmek kategorik olarak, incelenmeden,  onun hatırâsına hakaret olarak algılanır oldu. Daha da kötüsü, Türkiye’de aydın, yazar ve aktivistler onun ismini  proje ve üretimlerinin markası gibi kullanarak Ermenilere, Türklere ve tüm dünyaya sundu. Bu da yine, eleştirilemeyecek olmayı imâ ediyordu.
    Kimse Hrant Dink değil. Hrant da bazen kendi değildi. Çünkü Türkiye’de, bir entelektüel ve daha da önemlisi Ermeni olarak olan bitenle baş etmek, bir yandan üslubu tutturmak, bir yandan eleştirinin ve acısını dile getirmenin sınırlarını iyi belirlemek, en basit muhalif duruşu bir kahramanlık göstergesi olarak yüceltmek durumunda olmak, insanın kendi olmasının önünde aşılmaz bir engel olarak duruyor.
    Kimse Hrant Dink değil, kimse de Ermeni değil. Türkiyeli bir aydın ya da aktivistin klimalı  salonlarda Türkiye’nin geçmişiyle yüzleşmesinin önemi üzerine konuşmalar yapması, onun –  Ermeni olmak şöyle dursun –  Ermenilerin acılarını “paylaşmasına”, “hissetmesine”, “anlamasına”, yok edilen ve mülksüzleştirilen Ermeniler için yas tutmasına yetmiyor.
    24 Nisan’da İstanbul’da küçük bir gruba yaptığım konuşmada vermek istediğim bir mesaj da,  “paylaşmanın”, “hissetmenin” ve “anlamanın” imkânsız olduğu ve bunun büyük resme bakıldığında çok da önemli olmadığıydı.  Türk milli ekonomisi, büyük ölçüde Ermenilerin mallarına, mülklerine el konulmasıyla oluştu. Ermenistan ve Türkiye arasındaki güç asimetrisi bu mülksüzleştirmenin sonucudur. Ve mülksüzleştirmenin kendisi, paylaşma, hissetme ve anlama sözcüklerinin içini boşaltıyor, her ne kadar samimi olursa olsun.   
    Yine de bir yol var. Ermenilerle gerçek bir duygudaşlık kurabilmenin yolu, tepeden tırmağa soyulmanın ve aşağılanmanın ne demek olduğunu, ayaklarının altında Der Zor çöllerinin kumunu hissederek anlayabilmekten geçer. Türkiyelilerin klimalı salonlardan çıkıp, Der Zor çöllerinde anmalar düzenlemelerinin vakti geldi. Ancak bunu yaptıktan sonra Ermeni soykırımı ve onun sonuçları ile başaçıkma  ve telafi etme yolunda  anlamlı adımlar atmanın çarelerini aramaya başlayabilirler.
    İngilizce’den çeviren Talin Suciyan

  17. My hat off to Khacig Mouradian for writing such a powerful article, which pinpoints how our pain  can only be understood by those crowds who chanted “Hepimiz Ermeniyiz” “Hepimiz Hirantiz” at Hirant’s funeral. At the end of the day “deep state” is doing everything in its power to make the evidence to disappear, since its finger prints are all over the murder weapon as it was events of  1915. Yes, Ayse’s, Fatma’s, Tuna’s, Memig’s and thousands of others came a long way in their push forward last five years, but you must  continue pushing harder since the move to recognize the Armenian Genocide in Turkey needs equal partners at the Turkish side. Newspaper articles, memorial observations, conferences, debates are all fine, and I confess that these intellectuals are doing the unthinkable only five years ago. But you know as well as I do that, your average Turk on the street can not relate and understand these things, especially when “Deep State” and CUP mentality still has the upper hand and twists everything you do with their own spin. It is time to organize a silent march to “Der Zor” from Anatolia aka “the Armenian Plato ” to give a powerful message to the average Turk to help them to understand what 1915 was all about. Organize it such a way that, Armenians, Turks can march together under the destructive summer heat, sometimes bear footed, many days hungry and thirsty , maybe than, only than, we can try to mimic the powerful message  HIRANT DINK was trying to give !

  18. You think so wrong that about Turks you dont know how we are sad today about Hrant Dink,millions of turkish people  are together for him.we live the pain our inside but yo cant understand that.we dont have any place of segregation like Armenian and turk,we are all human!!!we are all Armenian,WE ARE ALL HRANT DINK!!!!!!

  19. Thanks for an insightful critique.  You’re right in showing the dangers of a superficial slogan. But I think it has been twisted and re-contextualized from the beginning, when I took it as the first widespread Turkish solidarity with the “other”.  It was a recognition that Hrant was not an outsider, but a Turk.  But for Turks to now identify on a wide scale with a victim with such a slogan is egregious.
    I also think that Turkey working through these issues with “the other” is universal, like any culture coming to terms with difference.  In any culture, there are often those who are dominant and there are those who are a minority, and there will almost always be an oppression of the minority.  How do the two groups find understanding between each other, while also tolerating or better, celebrating, their differences?  You’re right that the way is not through hollow slogans or expressions of sameness, though I do think there is something genuine about trying to connect to the tragedy of the Armenians through one’s own feelings of otherness.
    As a queer Armenian American, I have contemplated my share of difference.  Straight people acknowledging that gay people have the same human rights, and who can feel comfortable in their own identity, are quite different from those who victimize themselves and believe that marriage is under attack when gay couples ask for the same set of and rights and privileges. The first set understands the difficulties of being in the lesser position — through their own sense of difference, possibly, but more likely through friendship and empathy with a gay person’s struggles.
    I think that visiting and commemorating Der Zor will give Turks one means of understanding the crimes of the past.  But I don’t know how fruitful it is to dismiss the work in “the air-conditioned rooms”.  By making connections with “the other” — through reading, writing, and most importantly, speaking, seeing, feeling and befriending Armenians — will people be able to acknowledge and better understand the wrongs that are very much part of the society today.

  20. Thanks, I believe you Didem that many Turkish people feel pain over what happened to Hrant Dink, but now what?  What are you willing to do about it?  Pain, sadness, anxiety, guilt, shame are all human emotions that have the purpose of signaling to us that something is not right, that we need to change something.  Just feeling the emotion, but not taking action in response to it, is not very different from not ‘feeling’ anything at all.  What has changed?
     
    Are you ‘Hrant Dink?’  Do you feel for his family?  Do you understand Armenian pain?  If so, do you do your part as a citizen of Turkey to change your society and government in ways that will prevent the perpetuation of lies, distortion, discrimination and murder of the ‘inconvenient’.  Do you vote for government officials who fight for democracy and equal rights for all within your land.  Are you willing to speak to friends and family openly about what you believe and feel?  Do you or will you teach your children the good and bad sides of your history?  Are you willing to see your nation bend it’s knee and ask for forgiveness?  To atone for its crimes borne of over-exaggerated Turkish pride and the manufacturing of history usurped from those who occupied your lands thousands of years before your ancestors arrived?
     
    To be ‘Hrant Dink’ you must do as he did; you must do more than ‘feel.’

  21.  Excellent response, Boyajian. That is exactly what is hollow about thousands of Turks “feeling” like Hrant Dink. In many ways , these “enlightened” Turks have a much more difficult decision to makethan their full denial breathren. They seem to have a conscious and human values; and as such must decide what to do with their “feelings”. The “feeling” won’t go away and I will not challenge their sincerity. It is a part of their value system. Now, the response they must hear from Armenians is, “nice start, but not good enough”. They need to answer the voice they are hearing…. commit themselves to change, public outrage over their government policy towards Armenia and Armenians, repeal 301………..
            By the way a small aside…. isn’t it ironic that “301” has such different meaning to our two societies. In Turkey 301,it is the dreaded code of law that represents the repressive and paranoid nature of pseudo- nationalism… the darkness of their culture. To Armenians, it represents the light of our Lord, the year in our history that changed our people forever and established our Christian foundation.
              Whether we believe it or not, we are having an effect in Turkish society. Our job is to encourage their interest in understanding their past, but making it clear that, given their criminal past and unresolved quest for justice, “feeling” aren’t enough. Reconciliation will happen with the calming effect of justice. We have carried the burden of 96 years of pain, frustration and the constant threat of assimilation. They must carry the burden of what to do with their “feelings”.

  22. Sympathy on the part of Turkish citizens cannot be dismissed without sacrificing a part of our own humanity. That they have the freedom to publicly express that sympathy without being brutalized and arrested is a big gain for Turkish society compared to the past. That needs to be squarely acknowledged.
    At the same time, the Turkish government’s ability to turn that valve of sympathy on and off as it sees fit–in order to look democratic to the EU, or to establish the term ‘catastrophe’ in place of genocide–must be vigorously challenged. Until the Turkish government squarely takes responsibility for the crimes of its predecessors, as Germany did, its denialist propaganda mill will never shut down and Armenians and others of good conscience will have to struggle against it indefinitely in every corner of the world. Until that day, the Republic of Armenia will remain under serious threat and stability in the Caucasus a ridiculous dream.

  23. we didn’t forget the past. all of us is HRANT.

  24. The fact is that the Turkish ‘deep state’ really has very deep fears about acknowledging the past.  Why?  Because they irrationally fear the truth about that past will undermine their power, their (false) legitimacy and everything their idol Ataturk tried to create – a Turkey for the Turks and no one else. However, they know the truth about the last 100 years of their history better than anyone, but refuse to admit it. Just like a pig dressed in party clothes and jewelry, they try to convince their people and the world that it really isn’t a pig at all…that it’s actually a race horse w/ a proud and noble pedigree. As we all know, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. The world is not blind to what has happened and continues to happen there, but unfortunately, is powerless to change it. The change, if it ever comes, will come from inside Turkey and Turkey will be much better for it. So yes, until that day arrives, everyone in Turkey is a manifestation of Hrant, his dreams and visions, because they are all being suppressed by a few whose guilty conscience is inhibiting their growth on many levels. If they really loved Turkey as much as they say they do, they would stop these embarrassing, childish tactics because they are so totally counterproductive and ridiculous. With that in mind, they should do everyone a favor and just get out of the way, because lies repeated endlessly can never become truth.

  25. Dear Khatchig,
    Great article! Thank you.

  26. Everybody talks about genocide..that Turks did it,yes armenians were angels,right? they didnt killed many people in the villages when they were passing through,they didnt cut people into pieces for fun,they didnt make mass graves..right?? Turks just came and killed all of them?? sure,nobody says my people were bad..just one thing : people use ”armenian’s son” as a swearing in my city..and it shows how bad you are..coz you were in my city.. 

    • This wonderful article, written one year ago is still relevant today. I am happy to revisit it.

      Somehow I missed Hakan’s comment. Hakan, it has been several months since you wrote this. I wonder if you have had the opportunity to learn more and correct your misconceptions. When Armenians, primarily mothers, children and the elderly, ‘passed through’ villages during the ‘deportations’, they were escorted by armed guards and attacked by chetteh bands. Do you really believed that these starving and thirsty mothers and grandparents and their children attacked the Turkish villagers under the watchful eye of their guards? This is a ludicrous idea. You have been misinformed. Think! Also, no one denies that Turks were attacked by Armenians in some cases, but you need to ask yourself why? Was it self-defense? Was it retaliation? What was the provocation? Who would risk such action as a non-Turk in Ottoman society where non-Muslims were not granted equal protection under the law? What would you risk to secure safety and freedom for your family?

      The fact that in your city, people use ‘Armenian’s son’ as a swear, shows the contempt for Armenians that has become institutionalized by a society that would rather denigrate a victim than face the truth of what its ancestors have done.

      Hamidian massacres, Adana massacres, and the Genocide show the long-standing pattern of punishing Armenians for their audacity to ask for rights as citizens of the OE. The modern Republic of Turkey continues to punish Armenians by perpetuating lies and distorting the truth and you and your fellow citizens are also victims.

  27. it is funny you only look opponent..sometimes u need to check ur ass in the mirror to see what you have before telling others that their ass is big.

  28. I donot understand why you cannot get past your anger and appreciate this manifestation done for this good man. The person who is leading the walk is his wife, so I think it is also quite a good way to ease her pain and show her that she is not alone in this. The issue between Armenians and Turks is a different topic, this is simply a manifestation against the injustice against Hrant (who is a turkish citizen), not for Armenia or for others. And I think that it deserves some respect and appreciation..

  29. Ankara, let me take your question as a genuine one, and maybe I can explain to you why there is a correlation between Hrant’s murder and the “issue” between the Armenians and the Turks. FYI although I am a member of the Armenian Diaspora living in USA, I am a Turkish citizen as well, therefore well qualified to meet your criteria to discuss this issue with you, based on your qualification requirements. I reveal this, since you are making the point that ” Hrant was a Turkish citizen this should be an internal issue for the citizens of Turkey to discuss” and not for others. Respectfully, your point on this qualification standard does not make sense, since Hrant was also an Armenian with a Turkish citizenship due to his place of birth. Therefore Hrant’s murder is every Armenian’s issue to discuss as well, regardless of where in the world they were born and/or choose to live. But so be it, your wishes are granted let us top discuss this issue as two citizens of the Republic.

    To help you to comprehend, let’s start with a simple question. Why was Hrant murdered? Simply because he was an Armenian who had the guts to speak the truth while living in Turkey. Other than that, he was a well behaved, self made, a model Turkish citizen and an intellectual , whom at every opportunity tried to defend the interests of Turkey -NOT THE INTERESTS OF THE DEEP STATE- when she needed to be defended on the public forum ( I heard it with my own ears in several occasions). On the other hand he was a brave Armenian, willing to put his life in danger by writing and discussing it openly the strained relationship between the armenians and the Turks . One of his last articles was about Sabihe Gokce, Ataturk’s adopted daughter -the role model of Turkey’s feminist movement, the first Turkish women pilot who was an orphan of the Armenian Genocide. We all remember the reaction of the deep state, as well as the Chief of General Staff ( Genel Kurmay Baskani), after that article was published in Agos . Furthermore, at the same time during an interview with Reuters News Agency he openly qualified and verbalized the events of 1915 as a Genocide. Today, Hrant is dead mainly because of these two events- which basically pushed the deep state to make their final move. Due to his popularity within Turkey, the deep state had no other way to silence him but to kill, with the hope that once he is silenced others will not dare to talk the truth about 1915, at least within the borders of Turkey. Unfortunately as the saying goes: the history repeats itself. On April 24 1915, in Istanbul two hundred sixty nine Armenian intellectuals of the Ottoman empire were arrested and also later killed -including Meclisi Mebusan members, doctors, lawyers, journalists, writers, musicians, poets and many others-. They were murdered by the deep state as well-at the time called Itaat and Terraki- , just because they were Armenian, and not because they were destructive citizens of the empire, since every occasion these slain individuals felt a great pride in serving the empire as Hrant did serving to his native Turkey.

    Hope above shads light into your understanding. As you see Hrant Dink’s murder and the Armenian Turkish “issue” is not only interrelated topics , but they are the SAME topic/issue.

    • KYB, thanks for your reply.
      I am a turkish citizen who is living in Europe since 6 years now. One of my best friend’s/roommate here was a turkish armenian who has returned back to Turkey since he just couldnot bare the thought of not spending the summers in the island in Istanbul (you should know this feeling better than me.). So I have also discussed these things quite a lot with him. And to me, he was far more turkish than me culturally. I have respect for everybody’s origins, my father comes from the balkans and my mum from caucasia. Noone is of pureblood in Turkey but I think having the citizenship makes us all ‘turkish’. I also have another very close friend here who is a turkish greek (‘rum’), and he doesn’t like to be called ‘greek’ and it was the same for my turkish armenian friend. I donot know how this goes for you..
      Anyway, I have never said that Turkey is a wonderland, it is obvious that there are a lot of problems. I am quite unhappy with many things that has happened in the past including the 1945 events against the turkish greeks which I believe has taken away a beautiful cultural part of Turkey.
      All I want to say is, I am just against the fact that this protest is being criticized in the context of the arguements between Armenia and Turkey. I look at the photos and I see the face of her wife and I see all these people behind her and I find it moving that many people are there to support this family. Was it better that she would be alone there with a small banner? I think this has to be appreciated, that’s all. Otherwise I am not saying we are the greatest country in the world. This event is just the protest of people againts an unjust court result, nothing more. And I am glad that people start doing this kind of things; at least people start awakening to the problems of the minorities in Turkey..

    • I see your point Ankara. It is good to see Hrant Dink’s wife supported by so many. I do appreciate this. But can you understand what Hrant’s death and these kangaroo court results represent for Armenians?

      Armenians were Ottoman citizens before 1915, and we know what happened to them. Hrant was an Armenian Turkish citizen of the modern republic, and we know what happened to him. The Kurds are citizens and we know what happened and is happening to them. You also correctly mention the fate of Greek Turkish citizens in 1945. There are many more examples of abuse against both Christian and Muslim subgroups in Turkey.

      What does citizenship really mean in a society where all people are not equal? Can you understand that these are all interrelated issues? This show of support for Hrant’s widow is good, but don’t let it distract you from the big picture. The deep state is alive and well in Turkey and all advocates of human rights and democratic society should be on high alert after these court results. Don’t bury your head.

  30. avatar john the turk // January 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm // Reply

    Boyajian
    The word Armenian is used as an insult in many part of Turkey especially the eastern part. This isn’t because the governments have promoted and institutionalized anti-Armenian view.This isn’t because the deportees slaughtered the Turks on their way. Because, Armenians WEREN’T innocent lambs as you try to portray.No matter how hard you try to whitewash and say isolated Armenian attacks etc.. It didn’t happen 500 years ago and the memories of the society are still alive.

    Karekin,
    Turkey for only Turks may not sound right but land demands (as some people write about here ) leads eventually war and destruction and designated areas can not be created for the sake of Armenians or Kurds in Turkey

    • John: “designated areas can not be created for the sake of Armenians or Kurds in Turkey”

      The Kurds aren’t asking Turkey for land. They want that land whether you want to give it up or not. No one is asking for your permission. The Kurds will never give up on their quest for a country.Armenian genocide recognition is not the real problem for Turkey, it is the thousands of PKK militants and supporters who will fight to the death for their lands.

    • RVDV:

      there is a Turk woman that posts @TZ regularly by the name of Mine Ozcelik Bagrationi . She counters the Anti-Armenian posters there with the argument that Armenians are a non existent imagined threat for them (mainly because of non existent numbers). She says while they are ragging on Armenians, there are very few, if any, ethnic Turks left in the East (only TSK garrisons)

      She is a Turk living in Turkey, and seems to know what’s going on there. She writes as a patriotic Turk, not wanting the dissolution of Turkey. Her argument is that while those Turks are wasting time on Armenians, an independent Kurdistan is being created in the East before their eyes.. But because she is married to an Armenian man, she also gets attacked by her fellow Turks as a traitor, Armenian agent, etc.

    • John TT,

      You are lying.

      The term Armenian is an insult everywhere in Turkey. Can Aritman “insulted” Gul by saying he had an Armenian mother. She represents Smyrna. My mother’s father came from Eudemish, a few miles away. Everyone in his family died at the hands of Turkish soldiers. He survived because he came here in 1913. Most were his sisters, none were armed. I cannot decorate their graves.
      Today many Balkan Turks live on our lands.

      Armenians are not the only people who are insulted throughout your culture. The term Yehudi Korkak, meaning cowardly Jew is in wide distribution. Turkey is a racist country.

      You say that your government has nothing to do with it. Are you familiar with the racism in your textbooks and schools? How about the fact that most government, police and,military officer positions are unavailable to non-Muslims. If that is not government racism, there is no such thing as government racism.

      The Kurds of eastern Anatolia do not insult Armenians as you falsely maintain. They know very well what happened. They apologize for killing at your grandfather’s orders.

      When the Gendarmes and the convicts raped, beat, enslaved and killed unarmed Cristian civilians, do you not see that as shameful murder? Do you think that hundreds of thousands or millions of Armenians were killed while armed?

      Read the interview of Turkish schoalr Halil Berktay, who reports that at most a few thousand Armenian men were armed; Taner Akcam says that the idea of Armenians killing Turkish civilians is a myth. Even if they did, it is murder to kill innocent unarmed civilians.

      You are one, possibly two things: a Genocidal Nazi, or a brainwashed and lazy person too comfortable to read. Either way, you are immoral. Get your amusement elsewhere.

    • John the Turk, your comment contradicts itself. What are you trying to say?

      As for ‘designated areas’, you have it backwards. Turkey claimed land and property that was the homeland of others and designated them as ‘Turkish’ and changed place names and restricted use of native tongues among other indignities. Now Turkey objects to these indigenous people wanting self-determination on their own lands. The oppressed and marginalized reject the disrespect they have suffered and are asserting their rights. Too bad your government’s racist policies have made enemies instead of friends.

    • Avery: I agree with her. I’m not saying the Armenian Genocide issue is not a big deal, cause it is a very big deal, but open conflict between Turks and the PKK continue as we speak. However quickly the Kurdish issue can be solved will mean how many lives will be saved. The Turkish government can’t change the reality of the Armenian genocide, but they can end the conflict with Kurds and save lives. To me, the latter would be the no.1 priority.

  31. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm // Reply

    RVDV,
    You forgot to mention K U R DS ARE ALREADY ON THEIR LANDS..
    and it would be an impossibility to threow them into Black Sea…..
    Too many of them 16 million?????

    • Not exactly sure what you are implying, but if my comment made you think I am anti-Kurd, I will remind you that I am a Kurd. I mentioned already, at the very end of my post, that Kurds will fight FOR THEIR LANDS. Don’t confuse me with people like Necati and John the Turk, Mr. Palandjian. Thanks.

  32. avatar john the turk // January 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm // Reply

    RVDV

    I hope the Kurdish problem will escalate and Turkey will find a permanent solution to this problem. I believe that if Kurds push their silly demands, Turkey will wake up and understand that most Kurds are trouble makers and send them to native Iraqi soil. But they should be sent by air-conditioned buses not on foot. You see how you are hiding behind democracy or human right etc. The real problem is how to snatch land from Great turkey.This will be met by a ferocious resistance and the responsibility bears on your PKK supporters. Trust me average Turks know what is going on. The worst scenario would be giving up 1 or 2 crap province like Sirnak, Diyarbakir and deport the entire Kurdish population from the rest of Turkey. In this way, the problem will be sorted for ever.

    • “I hope the Kurdish problem will escalate and Turkey will find a permanent solution to this problem. I believe that if Kurds push their silly demands, Turkey will wake up and understand that most Kurds are trouble makers and send them to native Iraqi soil.”

      There you have it RVDV. Works every time: when Denialist Turks get cornered, they bare their fangs and threaten to do to Kurds what they did to Armenians (which of course they didn’t do: AG never happened)

      Are you sure you still want to call yourself a ‘Turk’ ?

    • JTT,

      Every word you type spells Nazi. This deportation plan you espouse was Hitler’s, before that Talaat’s.

      The Kurds will take a lot of you with them. But I doubt you will be on th front lines. You’re an armchair soldier.

    • You say “great Turkey” and then call 2 Turkish provinces crap. Go figure. Since its conquest in 1514, that region was called Kurdistan by Ottoman Turks. No one in Turkey is actually stupid enough to try an deport Kurds. Not even the most racist and nationalist MHP member would advocate that. I’m glad people like you aren’t in politics, not that you have the capacity to anyways. If you’re looking for the problem in Turkey, look in the mirror.

    • Avery: “Are you sure you still want to call yourself a ‘Turk’ ?

      Sometimes, I really don’t. But I was born in Turkey, I speak Turkish, not Kurdish, and I am a Turkish citizen. yes, there are people like John and Necati, but there are also people like Yasar Kemal and Orhan Pamuk – every person like them are worth a thousand denialists in my mind. I feel proud that people like Hrant Dink were my fellow citizens, people like him will not be forgotten. The same cannot be said for denialists.

    • Avery: I meant to address you and I accidentally posted under your name. I am sorry for the confusion.

    • Jda, I think Yahya, just answered your question of who he is. Scary, crazy ultra-nationalist with a heart: (“But they should be sent by air-conditioned buses not on foot.”).

      Yahya, there was a time in human history when invaders and conquerors could do what they like, and the oppressed and conquered had little recourse. But things are different now. The modern Republic of Turkey was supposed to be a new and different creature, rising from the ashes of the defeated Ottoman Empire, but what we see is that despite all the trappings of democracy and modernity, it still acts like an autocratic conqueror.

      The OE tried to erase the ‘Armenian Problem’ by erasing the Armenians, but Armenians have shown the world that after almost 100 years we are still here and still seeking justice. Now Turkey would do the same with the Kurds if given half a chance, but there are too many Kurds, and the eyes of the world are on Turkey.

      Time for Turkey to face her past and make peace with those she has oppressed.

  33. Hakan
    Poor guy. Get yourself a bit aducated first so that you can write one correct sentence. You may also find out that the city which your call “my city” most probably were inhabited by Armenians or Kurds who were either killed or forced to convert or driven away by your invading forefathers.

  34. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // January 21, 2012 at 8:57 am // Reply

    “Hrant Dink Photo on World’s Justice Flags”

    He was…and is
    The martyr for a justice
    Which is ignored
    By many unfair nations

    Dink’s principles exist
    Not only in Armenian hearts,
    But in every Justice seekers’ minds

    A real Armenian
    All his life lived in a place
    Worse than war field …

    Writing word ‘Justice’
    On the flag of his slayers
    Who murdered his nation
    And stayed unsatisfied
    Till they gunned him down;
    Where every-life will end one day…

    But the word ‘Justice’ on the flag
    With Hrant’s photo on
    Will threaten his enemies every day…
    Shivering their eyes…

    His photo should be hanged
    In every Armenian home
    To prove that our enemies
    Still want to vanish our ‘Genocided Voice’
    After smashing many literate skulls
    After vanishing the hands of our artful innocent race…
    Who architected their palaces…their minarets…

    We should hang Hrant’s photo
    To prove that this honest-handsome man
    (looks as a Hollywood Star…as many said)
    Who was killed by a new criminal plan
    In the terrain…where his ancient race lived…

    He dedicated his fingers his…his blood
    To unite the souls of his genocided nation
    With heartless men…
    To teach them how they can live together in Peace…
    Peace only words without sound
    In a place where humans…
    Are forcefully turkified…till today…

    He was killed
    In this Internet era
    Where nothing can get hidden
    Under any sun…

    Sylva-MD-Poetry
    January 19, 2011

    Please put Hrant’s Photo
    and we don’t like to see him on the ground
    because…He is still living in Our Hearts…

  35. Boyajian: “Time for Turkey to face her past and make peace with those she has oppressed.”

    Before that, they need to accept the fact that they DID in fact oppress people. I was going through the comment board on CNN and I saw the same thing over and over again: “Turks could have wiped out Armenians and Kurds in the 500 years they ruled them, but they are still around today.” Before Turkey accepts anything, that mentality must change.

    • You’re right, RVDV. It is very sad to see how ignorant of reality so many in Turkey are. What do you recommend? Do you suggest that Armenians give up their struggle against these stubborn minds who deny the obvious truth? Or do we keep the pressure on them for as long as we can in order to, little by little, wear down the denial? What choice do Armenians have but to risk being viewed as annoying mosquitoes by some. We can never let Turkey get away with having wiped us off our homeland. If we do, then we are betraying humane and decent people everywhere.

    • Boyajian: I do not have a plan that can solve this issue. But one thing that is very important is government interaction. The suspended protocols between Armenia and Turkey must be resumed. The substance of the protocols do not matter, if people see governments treating eachother with civility and respect, they may choose to follow- do not underestimate the power Erdogan and AK party have in Turkey. Secondly, those archives Turkey has opened should be examined by Armenians and other scholars. Perhaps then, Turkish scholars will be inclined to view other archives, ones containing the truth. It will not be easy, but one side has to step up and take initiative.

    • avatar Random Armenian // January 22, 2012 at 1:37 am //

      RVDV,

      It is my understanding that Turkey has opened only the archive that is the least relevant to the genocide, and also Akcam and Dadrian have visited it. It’s the other archives that are not opened that are important, and that’s assuming there is anything incriminating left in them. I don’t trust the Turkish authorities. If they’re willing to massacre civilians of the republic of Turkey, then they’re more than willing to destroy papers in archives. There simply is no trust. The Turkish authorities have changed their tune and are now singing “open the archives”. I smell a trap.

  36. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // January 22, 2012 at 12:55 am // Reply

    Turan…more details in wikipedia

    For people who have small information must read Wikipedia…You can argue if there are mistakes, i have written to them many times…writing Arabic names Like Saladen should be Salah-Aldeen.

    For other uses, see Turan (disambiguation).
    For the ideology of uniting Ural Altaic peoples, see Turanism.
    Tūrān (Central Asia’s) location as a region of the world
    Tūrān (Persian توران) is the Persian name[1] for Central Asia, literally meaning “the land of the Tur”. As described below, the original Turanians are an Iranian[2][3][4] tribe of the Avestan age. As a people the “Turanian” are one of the two Iranian peoples both descending from the Persian Fereydun but with different domains and often at war with each other.[5][6] In fact according to the Shahnameh’s account, at least 1,500 years later after the Avesta, the nomadic tribes who inhabited these lands were ruled by Tūr, who was the emperor Fereydun’s elder son. The association with Turks is also primarily based on the Shahnameh’s geographical account where Turkification of Central Asia was partially completed during that time.[7]
    Tur/Turaj (Tuzh in Middle Persian)[8] is the son of emperor Fereydun in ancient Iranian mythology. In the Shahnameh, he is identified with the Turks[9] although culturally, there is no relationship between Turanians of the Shahnameh and the culture of ancient Turks.[10] In 19th century and early 20th century discourse, now obsolete, Turan was primarily an ideological term designating Altaic and Uralic languages.

  37. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 22, 2012 at 1:03 am // Reply

    RVDV
    Firstly ,.do please read and re read what I posted above.I have ion fact DEFENDED that kurds( without knowing whether you or others here kurds) ARE ON THEIR LANDS..
    Not quite so of course ,since we shall also reown parts of it….
    easy there easy!!!!

    Therefoe your getting fired up has no sense!! i defended your rights,vis a vis the Turks—capiche????

    Hope you understand and come to dialogue with us as to what part of the Western Armenia is western armenia and what part future Kurdistan.
    If you succeed in that, that is.Which is your problem weith great Turkey,not ours .You have to dispute and fight for it.I do trust you understand a nd if you are sincere here with us,come FWD understandingly as to above.

  38. I don’t understand Armenians. You claimed that you were very oppressed during Ottoman times then you claim that you were so rich that Turkish economy was built on Armenian property.

    Well, Turkish economy was built with hard labor of Turkish people. Turkey is the fastest growing economy in Europe right now without any Armenian contribution.

    By the way, if you were such advanced people in the Ottoman Empire, why can’t you build that same prosperity in independent Armenia.

    So you are not satisfied that people say “we are all Hrant Dink”. Well if you didn’t like it, don’t expect that we will beg you.

  39. avatar john the turk // January 22, 2012 at 6:29 am // Reply

    Turkey and Armenia must never make a peace. I will try hard not to make a peace with you Armenians. People who deserve peace must be peaceful. Until you change and apologize for your war mongering attitude . You will have no peace.

  40. avatar john the turk // January 22, 2012 at 6:38 am // Reply

    Boyajian

    My name is John the turk. Nice to meet you. We have no Armenian problem any more as Great turkey is free of Armenians. All you have got left is war on paper.

    • Okay, John the Turk.

      You are wrong to reduce this struggle to a war on paper. Real battles are being fought everyday. The vote in the French Senate tomorrow is one example of how this struggle exists in reality. It is a French initiative on behalf of genocide victims which would punish genocide deniers with a fine and jail time. Can’t get more real than that. No matter how the vote turns out tomorrow, the struggle will continue in numerous arenas around the world. Turkey will officially face the truth one day.

  41. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // January 23, 2012 at 1:27 am // Reply

    This letter is from young bright Kurdish Physician…who lived in Dersim…he married to a turkish girl… her parents did not like… Both left Turkey to USA
    Wrote to me…

    “I knew Hrant personally… We are not Turkified, but I dont really give any importance to nations..I believe that problem in Turkey is the human rights…”

    ———
    Boyadjian…I read your comments with respect…

  42. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // January 23, 2012 at 9:05 am // Reply

    /Users/sylvaportoian/Desktop/372020_100000200635550_1820087949_n.jpg

    I saw this picture…I think is for Hrant
    We want to see him
    Happy not dead
    Because…
    Peace loving people will never die…
    He had Love in His Heart
    In His Cariomyocytes,,,
    He seeded love
    With his Dendrites…
    Our God Is love
    Can Almighty die…?

    Sylva

  43. john the turk
    At her rate of diminising since your “Great Turkey” was a big empire, there will probably not much be left of it towards the end of this century. Many great empires went miserably into demise because of their arrogance and egotism. You may be sure that the more your “Great Turkey” – whom you purport to represent – behaves like that, the sooner it will reach its disgraceful downfall.

  44. avatar Jack Kalpakian // January 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm // Reply

    This is a little harsh. The people carrying these signs are trying their best to express empathy. Admittedly, it is not complete, but it is something. I find the attempt by Matthew Bryza to use the Dink funeral as a warrant against holding Turkey accountable far more odious that the attempt at a positive gesture by some Turks and others.

  45. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // January 24, 2012 at 3:54 am // Reply

    Please Mouradian
    Put Hran’s Dink photo on
    Our Armenian Flag
    Let him sing with Us
    Let him solute the righteousness
    We Won

    Hrant is alive
    We can see him singing

    Your photo makes our enemies happy
    We are the winners
    As every human from the East till the West
    Love us
    And know who are we…
    Artful…clever inventors givers

    With love to all
    even to our enemies
    To awake
    by our love
    We can give to every one …and always

    Sylva

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