Ergenekon St. in Istanbul Renamed Hrant Dink St.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (A.W.)—On Jan. 19, which marks the third anniversary of the assassination of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, Ergenekon Street in Istanbul was renamed “Hrant Dink Caddesi” (Hrant Dink Street).

The changing of the signs

The street is near the editorial offices of Agos, the newspaper edited by Dink, and was full of hundreds who had gathered under the rain to witness the name change.

In Turkish mythology, Ergenekon is a mythical place in the Altay Mountains, where the ancestors of Turks are all killed. Only one child survives and is brought up by a wolf. His descendants inhabit the valley until their numbers increase and they need to find a way out. They manage to drill a hole in the mountain and, again, a wolf leads them out of the valley.

Ergenekon is a much-cherished legend by Turkish extremists, and a Kemalist ultra-nationalist group in Turkey has assumed the name. The group has strong ties in the military and bureaucracy, and is currently under investigation in Turkey for numerous crimes, including the assassination of Hrant Dink.

Protesters holding a sign that says, "Clean up the feces of your vigilantes," in reference to the ultra-nationalists for whom Ergenekon and the wolf are important symbols.

According to reports, a group called “Art for Peace” organized the changing of the street signs. The group requested a meeting with Sisli Mayor Mustafa Sarigul to officially change the name of the street, but it was not possible to hold the meeting before Jan. 19, the group said in a leaflet distributed to the crowd in Sisli.

Members of the group changed the name of the street themselves without waiting for the meeting.


  1. That sign is not going to last long. Barabarians love stealing Armenian signs. Correction, they love stealing anything Armenian. From San francisco to Philadelphia to Lyon and beyond. Let’s watch and see how long it will take for this sign to disappear.

  2. That was a nice irony and contrast, Ergenekon to Hrant.  It is not the only street to be named after an Armenian hero in Istanbul by the way.  Wonder how many such streets exist in Erivan.

  3. Renaming a street in Istanbul after the victim of a brutal ultra-nationalist assassination will not deter similar future acts of terrorism by Turkish extremists. Bringing the perpetrators of such heinous crimes to justice and holding them accountable for their actions may be more effective in preventing its recurrence.

  4. Don’t patronize me or any Armenians with feel good stunts of ‘DOLMA DIPLOMACY’ like this. What a joke! Renaming a street by the murdered victim will not help stop the murder of people like him from continuing. Bravo Zorab, you hit the nail on the head!
    What would be more constructive is if the group “Art for Peace” instead sent a signed petition on behalf of their membership demanding their government revoke Articel 301 that actually helped target people like Hrant Dink.

  5. Murat,
    There are plenty of streets in Yerevan named after Armenians heros. We have plenty of heros. In Constantinople there is a street named after one turkish “hero” talat pasa. We all know what “heroic” deeds he had done for his country and humanity: war, genocide, pestilence and famine. Here is one the turks cant top, the last  canonized saint of  the Armenian apostalic church was a turk. He was mudered by mohamedeans on easter 1438 in erzurum. You are not here for dialog, you are here as a turkish propagandist.

  6. Is the Turkish state going to use Hrant Dinks name on a sign post as a tool of propaganda to placate anger over his murder or will it be used by Turkish tour guides to fool unwary tourists about their so called kindness to Armenians???
    Armenians are not looking for the recognition of our martyrs on street corners.  We are demanding justice for the cold blooded murder of our 1,500,001 martyrs.

  7. How disappointing to find such narrow minded people in our midst. These, coupled with those who have no idea of what life is like in Istanbul can pontificate right, left, and centre, and mix different issues instead of thinking in a lucid manner. Wake up friends! These are genuine outbursts of feelings of brotherhood, solidarity, and justice  among the friends of Hrant in Istanbul, local Armenians and Turks alike, and it has nothing to do with the policies of the Turkish government.

    Did you know that the Deputy Mayor of Sisli is Armenian and the most respected photographer of Istanbul is Ara Guler, another Armenian? Dino, could you please share the source of your Turkish Christian martyr? I’m sure many readers would love to know his name and so would the countless Turkish converts to Christianity today! 

  8. Sorry Noushig but as a citizen who was raised in Istanbul for 27 years and is a dear friend to Turks, Armenians and Kurds,I agree with the sentiments by Dikran and others. Before we can get to “genuine outbursts of feelings” by renaming street signs, Turkish courts need to genuinely address the legal matters of murder and freedom of speech first. In order for people to freely express their emotions of solidarity with other Turkish citizens of different ethnic groups they need to feel safe in opening up to one another without worrying about attacks by Ergenkon members. And currently they don’t. Until courts don’t take Turkey’s problems more seriously, they can’t expect its citizens to respect each others rights. A sad reality indeed.

  9. Noushig, what you just wrote here was a little bit of the “skeptical nature.” I will explain to you why…

    Keep in mind that Turkey is trying to become a member of the EU.  And such, they “see it politically wise” to name one street in Istanbul after assasinated journalist Hrant Dink. As for the “honest outpouring of affection” by Turkish intellectuals, I believe their sincerity regarding Hrant, but some are simply using the ocassion to win “freedom” from the brutal policies of sensorship imposed on all Turks.  As for the Christian converts in Turkey, their number according to World christian Organization does not exceed 3,000.  Wow, out of 60 million people 3,000 converts? And most, mind you, are Armenians whose greatparents were forcibly converted/Turkified.

  10. Noushig,
            The Turkish Christian martyr is St Yordanan bishop of Garin/Erzurum. He was martyred with great fanfare and as a public spectacle on Good Friday, 1182. To get more info you would have to consult the Patriarchate. If anyone does inquire, don’t take  no for an answer, no is an Armenian’s favorite word. It would be a great thing if Armenians and Christian Turks in Istanbul can publicize through a feast day for him so as to bring the word of Christ to the mohamadean masses of Turkey. Also, it must be emphasized that every moslem in turkey comes from a Christian family historically and that their ancestors suffered for acknowledging Christ and gave in to conversion by physical or economic force.
              As an example for you Noushig, Ajaria in Georgia, original homeland of Erdogan’s family, was forceabily converted to islam in the 16th century and until 1990 was 70% moslem. In 20 short years with freedom of religion Ajaria is 65% Christian today.

              February 3rd is St Blaise’s feast day in the Catholic Church. St Blaise or in Armenian Sourb Barsegh was bishop in Sivas(Sebastia), Armenia and martyred in the 316 A.D.. Throats are blessed that day in church and any Christian can go to Church services and have their throats blessed. You dont have to be Catholic since it is a sacramental not a sacrament.
             As a side note, since Pope John Paul II reached an acord with the Armenian church in the year 2000 I believe, Armenians and Catholics can recieve Sacraments from each others churches since the two churches are Apostolic.

    There can be no peace without justice.
    We are all Anatolians. 

  11. Armenians shouldn’t read too much into such emotional stories that attempt to portray the misleading notion that Turkish society is changing for our betterment. Why? Because its BS. Is the renaming of this sign supposed to replace justice for Hrant Dink’s murder or is it supposed to make Orhan Pamuk, Elif Shafak and Taner Ackam feel safe walking the streets of Turkey?
    These types of emotionally laden news stories should be categorized under the news heading of Dolma Diplomacy.

  12. There was a binary choice in 1915. Armenian or Turkish genocide.  You can blame us all you want for defending ourselves but we are not stupid. I am not happy about this but it is the existential truth.  In any case Turkey will control the normalization process thank you very much.

  13. To KO: This is no use, KO. Your barbaric forefathers representing Bloody Sultan Hamid government and Young Turks regime, as well as their successor governments, Genocide denialists, cannot hide from responsibility forever. If you believe in God’s justice, you will have to admit and apologize to Armenians for uprooting them from their ancestral lands on which they lived for millennia, long before your nomadic Seljuk tribes appeared spreading fire and swords over native inhabitants. The Genocide of Armenians was not a binary matter, it was a unilateral, government-authorized, targeted and deliberate mass murder of a large ethnic group. Who your forefathers were ‘defending’ them from? Unarmed, defenseless women, children and elders, whom your co-ethnics hung, burnt alive, raped, and took to the deserts en masse to face the most horrifying death of starvation? The World War One theatre was not in Western Armenia (as you now call it Eastern Anatolia), it was closer to the European landmass. If you think the Turks are not stupid do a little research of non-Turkish (and non-Armenian, if you like) historical, geographical, ethnographical sources, and I’m sure you will come to no other conclusion that 26 countries in the world, 44 states of the U.S., the European Parliament, the International Association of the Genocide Scholars, the leading historians, and international lawyers have: it WAS the act of Genocide and not an act of defense. This is the existential truth, and sooner or later you will have to admit it. If you don’t, this time the international community will make you to. You will have to pay in full for wiping off one of the most ancient civilizations that existed on the face of the Earth. And NO, Turks cannot control the normalization process, because too many external powerful forces are involved. But you may continue day-dreaming, one day you will face the harsh reality.

  14. KO, what exactly was this binary choice you speak of?
    is it your contention that a Christian minority in a Muslim empire was going to carry out an act of Genocide?
    How so exactly?
    and if that is your contention once the Armenian leaders and military men were killed, what justifies annihilating women, children and elderly?
    Were the Greeks and Assyrians in Eastern Anatolia also in on the potential Genocide against the turks?
    It is a nice defense mechanism you have going on. “it’s was either us or them” however that is not the case by a long shot..

  15. Armenian Weekly (gently) removed my last post. OK, I promise to be “nicer” to these genocidal Turks.

    KO, you sound highly educated intellectual using such intelligent sounding words to describe the wholesale slaughter of defenseless Armenian women and children.
    Your murderous people and government must come clean. I don’t know how long you can hide behind tall walls, but justice is patient and it will wait.

  16. When is Hrant Dink’s murderer going to be locked in a Turkish jail cell and treated like an inmate who needs help as opposed to a national hero?

    Hey KO, was Turkey’s brutal occupation of a sovereign state, Cyprus, also a binary choice, hah? Or Ottoman enslavement of ancient nations (Assyrians, Armenians, Greeks, Arabs, etc.), inhabiting your imperial prison of nations was also a binary choice? It’s not about any choice, it’s about how the Turkish state really is and known to the world: bloodthirsty, callous, and unmerciful.

  18. It is heartwarming to see that despite censored politics, there is a minority of the Turkish population that is willing to take risks and stand up to the extremists, in the name of common humanity. One day the world will be a better place; in the mean time these people should be encouraged, not spat on…

  19. Dear  Vincent,Zohrab et al…
    A small minority in great Turkey is tantamount to a pebble  in the ocean…a  vast  one at  that
    My Plea to all Hayortis  is to  be  on the BADNESH(upfront wall/gate  if  you will .
    These few well wishing,honest  turks -with all due respect  to  them- do not really count  much,albeit  their efforts  are  well appreciated.But  do please  understand  that  it  is not  only the ultra  nationalist  turks,their army their clique  what  not, BUT  ALSO THOSE SHAMELESS FOREIGN SUPPORTERS  OF  THE  THAT GIVE  MUCH  encouragement  to  them  to go  on  with their Denialist  stance  and try to bury  our CAUSE, our CASE.For  it  is a case  to be  brought  up  to  much more  important instances.U.N,. Int’l Court s  of Justice etc.,Our  endevours  must be carried  on  with force..nay ORGANIZED DIASPORA ,with  its (future) Nat’l investment  Trust  Fund  to support  all of  our demands..
    My view/  FIRST  AND FOREMOST     ….B    L     O     O    D      M    O   N   E  Y  for the 1.5 millions  martyrs..

  20. I have in the past, wrote about turkish intelligence activities in Armenia, but no one listened to my pleas. I also wrote that turks have between 700-2000 low to mid level intelligence agents(spies) working non stop around the clock, 24 hours a day, trying to recruit and gather intelligence.
    Armenia is sleeping, and the turks are recruiting. These numbers are not imaginary. Everyone in turkish occupied Kurdistan know about agents sent to Armenia non stop. This is not a JOKE.
    Lo and behold,yesterday,  a traitor and its recruiting turkish agent were arrested in Armenia. The traitor, one Mr. hartunyan, found with caches of information about Armenias military capabilities.
    I don’t understand why Armenia is so complacent in its patriotic duties? Corruption in the current government might be one reason, but betraying your own country is treacherous to say the least, and suicidal for the whole nation.
    turks are dying to see the border opened, and opened soon. They are playing their dirty political gams here, as if they are Not interested having an open border. That’s all BULL. They are dieing to start sending agents and provacators legally and with ease with an open border.
    Betraying your spouse, hurts but one person.
    Betraying your country, brings the end of your own people and country.
    If Armenians have’nt learned their lessons, even after 95 years after the Genocide, then please come to turkish occupied Kurdistan, and look how we live under the turkish regime, surrounded by 300,000 armed forces, unable to teach Kurdish language, and bombed indescriminately almost every other day by turkish bombers.
    All I can tell my Armenian friends is this:
    We draw courage from your small Armenia, and we dream that one day, us too, will have a free country. But we are hurting seeing monumental complacensies amongst government officials in Armenia.
    Ferhat, a proud Kurd for Armenia(ians)

  21. Dear Vincent:
    Yes the act of replacing a street sign is “heartwarming” but heartwarming acts like this are not enough to save the lives of writers like Hrant Dink from being targeted for execution!  The publicity of this sign replacement does more harm than good in that it creates an illusion that things are changing for the good of Armenians in Turkey when nothing supports that conclusion. I agree that these people should be encouraged to do more and someone above already made a reasonable recommendation but they are hardly being “spat on.”
    Also, replacing street signs with the permission of the Mayor is not an example I would call of anything remotely close to “taking a risk.” If that’s your idea of risk taking you clearly don’t know enough about Hrant Dink’s life nor Turkey. Publishing weekly columns for years against your own government’s policy of genocide cover up and blood money while receiving death threats from juiced up extremist Turkish youth living within earshot of your newspapers head office IS RISKY!  Replacing a sign is hardly considered risky in this context even if you are residing in a fascist country like Turkey.
    So yes Vincent, these people should be encouraged to make more tangible change to save the lives of REAL risk takers like Hrant Dink.

  22. Murat brings up an interesting point. Just how many streets in Yerevan, let alone anywhere else in Armenia, are named after Turks? My guess is ZERO!!! Anyone want to prove me wrong?!!


    You display an obvious delusional paranoia which is a sub-conscious cry for help. You should learn that there’s no longer a need to pretend to be someone/something that you’re not!

  23. Dear Turkish and Armenian Friends,

    Stop hating each other so intensely.

    Educate yourselves with as unbiased as possible ears and eyes as to the history of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. I beg you all to read scholarly researched works (not state sponsored) and find out for yourselves what happened, why, and how we can move forward as two communities, both inside and outside the diaspora. It is important to inform ourselves about BOTH TURKISH AND ARMENIAN ACCOUNTS.

    Stop labeling your Turkish/Armenian communities, and instead educate yourselves and speak intelligently about your opinions.

    State politics is always in the interest of the state – – that goes for every country in the world. Turkey and Armenia are no different.

    The important thing to focus on is Healing and Reconciliation. This can only be done through INTELLIGENT DIALOGUE between ARMENIAN AND TURKISH COMMUNITIES. Issues must be confronted, however, in healthy ways.

    If we all want to move forward in one way or the other, we must be willing to have dialogue with each other.


  24. Mari,
    Scholarly researched works not sponsored by states reveal the truth of the Armenian, Assyrian, and Pontic genocides. One party is denying the truth and one party is the aggrieved. Only a handful of scholars who have no horse in the race (neither Armenian nor Turkish) take the Turkish position, and even then, their hypothesis’ are debunked. Not too mention that even their hypothesis’ never go so far as to give any credence to the state-sponsored propaganda by Turkey.
    Robert, name one Turk that Armenians would name a street after, perhaps Karabekir who threatened to finish off the remaining Armenians that the CUP failed to kill.

  25. To Mari:
    “Stop hating each other so intensely.”
    I have reread all the posts of this thread and neither Turk nor Armenian has been hating.

    ” I beg you all to read scholarly researched works (not state sponsored)”
    The Armenian state does not sponsor research only the turkish state does. The turkish government sponsored research  on the subject is so delusional that it represents a “north korean reality” of history. Numerous independent Turkish scholars within turkey have studied the issue and they say its genocide. 

    The International Association of Genocide Scholars have issued numerous statements as to what happened in the Ottoman Empire was genocide. They also state denial is a continuation of genocide. Thus turkey is still a genocidal state. The turkish state will be punished for the genocide and the denial of the Armenian genocide no way for them to get around it.

    Turkey’s allies in WWI the Germans and Austrians in their secret cables about the situation in turkey described what happened to the Armenians as “race extermination”

    “It is important to inform ourselves about BOTH TURKISH AND ARMENIAN ACCOUNTS.”
    So we must take into account the holocaust deniers, both the tutsi and hutu accounts in rwanda, and the many other instances of genocide? After all there are always two sides to a story. yeah right.

    “State politics is always in the interest of the state”
    Yes this is true. It is in turkey’s best interest to deny the genocide because they are the successor to the ottman state and there is no statute of limitations for genocide. The only legally binding document of international law between Armenia and Turkey is the Wilson Arbitral Award of eastern turkey to Armenia. Turkey illegally occupies land of the Armenian Republic. Armenia recognizes all treaties of the soviet union but the treaty of moscow 1921 and the treaty of kars 1921 were signed not by any legitmate recognized countries but by unrecognized rebel groups- the bolsheviks and the kemalists hence completely illegal. When the time comes the Constitutional court of Armenia will determine the legality of the treaty of Kars.

    “INTELLIGENT DIALOGUE between ARMENIAN AND TURKISH COMMUNITIES. Issues must be confronted, however, in healthy ways.”
    How can there be dialogue when turks and armenians within the turkish state are not free to discuss because of Article 301.  Anything contrary to the turkish state ideology would constitute a violation of article 301- insulting turkishness!!!

    We all want to have contact with the varied peoples of turkey, not the genocidal turkish government.
    There can be no peace without justice for all Anatolians- those living there now and in the diaspora.

    Reparations, restitution, restoration and recognition of genocide for the Armenians, Assyrians, Pontian Greeks, Yezidis, Bulgarians and Alevi Kurds. Oh and give Aya Sophia back to the Greeks and all the other churches turks have stolen over the years.
     So Mari,  I assume you are in turkey. let’s talk turkey errrr let’s have dialogue. lol.

  26. Mari,

    I commend your comments and vision. But, as you can plainly see for yourself, what you’d hope for is made impossible by posters such as Joseph, Dino, and many others. You must understand that they have been, and continue to be to this very day, instilled with hate via their indoctrination as youths (usually via attendance at their AYF summer camps). Never mind that they run away from any debate. Any posed opinion (by anyone), which may be contrary to their (dashnaks) rabid position, is immediately met with either censorship and deletion, or defamation of the person’s character or his family members, vulgar assaults, ludicrous charges of being paid agents of Turkey, the list just goes on and on! Just about every single piece of “evidence” that they produce as proof of an alledged “genocide” has long since been debunked, and they know it. The problem is Mari, that they continue on presenting the same old material over and over. Why? Because they strongly adhere to the saying that if one tells a lie long enough, eventually you’ll get people (ignorant) to listen and believe you. Have you ever wondered why many of my posts are deleted/censored? It’s because the editorial staff is terrified that what I say may actually make some people begin to question the century-old dashnak pablum. Please note Mari that I never use vulgarity in any of my posts. I am always civil and don’t make character assinations. But most importantly, I draw your attention to the fact that I use the term “dashnak” instaed of the generic Armenian. This is because there are many good and kind Armenians out there (many are my friends). But these are mainly non-dashnaks. They will tell you the truth if you get a chance to ask one of them. They are too terrified to speak up in public for fear of receiving death threats from hard-line dashnaks. A good Armenian friend of mine (Ara, a non-dashnak) showed me an actual death threat letter he receieved from one of these dashnakians. It was written in armenian, but he translated it to me. No wonder so many of them are quiet! Ara’s family had moved to Istanbul years ago. he moved to the US over twenty years ago with his family. He family had lived in Anatolia for hundreds of years. They were survivors, during WWI, of the mass killings of Armenians by DASHNAK ARMENIAN REBELIOUS TRAITORS, when they refused to help the dashnaks murder innocent Turkish and Kurdish civillians in their villages. Others went unwillingly with the dashnaks so as to spare their families. Dashnaks killed their own people! This is well documented. Please Mari, seek out any of these non-dashnak Armenians and get the real story from them (don’t take only my word for it). I could write volumes about this, but what I’d like to leave you with is to ask yourself this one question…Why are dashnaks so vehemently opposed to a historical commission examining all of the archives and FINALLY getting at the truth? Why are, to this very day, the Armenian archives in yerevan and Boston STILL closed to the public? Dashnaks will NEVER give you an answer to these questions!! They’ll do their usual side-step shuffle to avoid and to change to direction of the topic. Assuming that this isn’t censored and deleted, then I wish you the very best Mari. Good luck. 

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