DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (A.W.)—The eighth anniversary of Hrant Dink’s assassination was commemorated in Diyarbakir’s Cegerxweyn Cultural Center this week.
Gultan Kışanak, Diyarbakir metropolitan mayor, attended the commemoration, which was organized by the city’s Armenian community and a local NGO.
Speakers included Kışanak, Pakrat Estukyan from Agos newspaper, activist Dr. Selçuk Mızraklı, and lawyer Sabih Ataç.
Kışanak noted that the commemoration this year was particularly meaningful as it coincided with the Centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Talking about the ongoing murder trial, she said that expectations go beyond the arrest of a few culprits.
Kışanak added that an apology for the genocide, and the ability of Armenians to securely return to their lands, are necessary for the establishment of peace.
The people of Diyarbakir are ready to embrace the Armenians, she said.
Estukyan spoke about the commemorations being held throughout Turkey on Dink’s assassination, and said he was particularly moved by the tribute in Diyarbakir.
“I realized today that neither Hrant, nor those who died for this 30-year movement for freedom, died in vain,” Estukyan said.
Mızraklı, in turn, talked about how the destruction of an Armenian presence in Turkey began more than a century ago and how, after the Armenians, other ethnic and religious groups were also subjected to mass violence.
Ataç shared personal memories of Hrant Dink.
The commemoration concluded with performances by musicians Udi Yervant and Stepan Ilhan.
This report was filed by The Armenian Weekly Diyarbakir correspondent Gulisor Akkum.
It was very important that the mayor of Diarbakir was one of the important people who spoke at this occasion, including the other participants too. I
hope in the future more Turkish citizens will raise their voices, and influence other people to speak up and convince the Turkish government to do something about the injustices the earlier generations of the Turkish government committed.