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 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.
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.