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Everyone Remembers You in Their Own Way, Hrant

The letter was penned by  Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau member and director of its Central Hai Tahd office, Giro Manoyan to the late Hrant Dink, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his assassination. The letter was translated by the Armenian Weekly. 

Hrant Dink

***

Dear Hrant,

It is difficult to believe that it has already been 10 years that you have not been with us physically.

It is difficult to believe this, because over the past decade, you have always been present. Your thoughts, your ideas, what you have and haven’t said have been discussed so much, that it makes it difficult to believe that you are gone.

You are also often discussed when the topic of your murder trial—or trials—are brought up. Forgive me for not paying close attention to the case; they are like everything but a trial—more of a Turkish soap opera than anything.

I think many will agree that we know who your killer was.

It was the Turkish state who was responsible, because they could not tolerate an individual like you—one, who was sincerely faithful to Turkey yet not submissive and not afraid to express his Armenian identity.

Although you and I had different political approaches, your bravery, your courage, and your confidence in your ideas compelled me to respect you as a human being and as an Armenian.

I am certain that many have informed you that a lot has changed in Turkey in the last decade—in a “one step forward, two steps back” rhythm.  Honestly, I’m not sure whether you would have wished to physically be in Turkey today.

Regardless, as I already mentioned, you are still very much present there. You are still present for many, as everyone remembers you their own distinct way. After hearing about all that is spoken about you, many would be surprised to learn that everyone is speaking about the same man—about you.

What is important for me is the fact that people in Turkey—especially sections of the Armenian youth of Istanbul—are talking about you and thinking about you, and that they are talking about you with respect and sincere love. And thus, your courage and self-confidence continue to spread.

In 2013, I visited the place where you were assassinated, your office, and your final resting place. I could not help but to get angry at the great injustice that had occurred. I kept repeating to the people around me that you were the second person who had invited me to Istanbul. The first was a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), who has since fled Turkey.

And you… killed by the state.

Hrant Dink’s grave in Istanbul (Photo: Nubar Alexanian)

In any case, I am certain that many wish to live the way you did in that country.

“Hoghuh tetev gah” [May the earth lay softly], dear Hrant.

 

With warm regards,

Giro Manoyan

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