Candlelight Vigil in Memory of Hrant Dink Takes Place in NY


NEW YORK (A.W.)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) New York Armen Garo gomideh and the Armenian National Committee of New York (ANC-NY) organized a candlelight vigil in memory the founding editor of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos, on Jan. 19.

A scene from the vigil

Dozens of community members and supporters, holding Armenian flags, signs, and images of Dink, gathered across from the Turkish Consulate in midtown Manhattan.  They called for justice with chants such as “We Are All Hrant Dink,” “Justice for Hrant Dink,” and “Turkey Recognize Your Guilt.”

The candlelight vigil began with an opening prayer by V. Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, the pastor of St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral.  As the participants held candles, the priests and deacons led the singing of Hayr Mer, Der Voghormya and Kilikia.

Speaking on behalf of the community, ANC-NY chairman Nazareth Markarian and writer Taleen Babayan addressed the crowd of supporters and passerbys.

“Hrant Dink was murdered in cold-blood on the streets of Turkey, in broad daylight, because he had the courage to stand up for truth and because he would not remain silent about the Armenian Genocide,” said Markarian, who urged the Armenian community to never forget and reminded those present that Turkish abuses continue to this day.

“Turkey continues to violate its citizens’ right to life and freedom of speech and has intensified its crackdown of political opponents.  Just a few days ago, Garo Paylan, an elected official to Turkey’s Parliament, was suspended and banned from Parliament.  It is our duty to remain vigilant and raise our collective voice in support of Paylan, who like Hrant Dink before him, refuses to be silenced in his fight for human rights and Turkish acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide,” said Markarian.

A scene from the vigil

In her remarks, Taleen Babayan noted that “Dink was a journalist in the truest sense, whose convictions and morals guided him, nd who was led by the motives of truth, justice, and progress.  He was someone who did not just advocate for Armenian Genocide awareness but who advocated for all marginalized people in Turkey.  He was not just a symbol for Armenians, he was a symbol for every oppressed individual around the world.”

“Today, a decade after Hrant Dink’s assassination, not much has changed in Turkey.  The systematic persecution of religious and ethnic minorities continues.  But we have hope for a better future.  Hrant gave us that hope. We are here, Ahparig [brother],” read a part of a statement released by the ANC-NY.

1 Comment

  1. It’s really amazing how inspiring and influential Hrant Dink has been for so many Armenian activists throughout the world. The most prominent of these Armenian activists, of course, is Garo Paylan. I don’t think he would be doing what he’s doing today if it had not been for what Hrant Dink was doing over ten years ago.

    And after ten years gone by, Hrant Dink’s stature has not diminished; it has grown. He defended his beleaguered fellow Turkish-Armenians far better than he defended himself. It was he who first educated all of us about the hidden Islamicised Armenians of present-day eastern Turkey (the descendants of the Armenian Genocide survivors). And, it was he who inspired so many of these hidden Islamicised Armenians (they number at least three million in present-day eastern Turkey) to rediscover and reclaim their Armenian roots. Let me remind all of you that when we finally obtain back our stolen Western Armenian lands, by any means necessary, it’s going to be these hidden Armenians who will be the inhabitants of those lands.

    Prior to Hrant Dink’s brutal death, Armenian human rights activism had not been particularly strong nor forceful; however, over the past ten years, it has really grown and advanced. It’s now a force to be reckoned with in Turkey, Armenia, and the Armenian diaspora. It was Hrant Dink, who led the way for all of this to happen. His brutal death, awakened the Armenian Nation and made us all realize how brutal our history has been. Furthermore, his brutal death made us all realize that if the Armenian people are to have a chance of obtaining justice in this unjust world, then they will need to devote their entire lives to pursuing this justice, just like Hrant Dink did in pursuing justice for Turkey’s enormously persecuted Armenian community.

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