January 27, 2007


ՀՐԱՆԴ ՏԻՆՔ (1954 - 2007)


"I was found guilty of racism. How can this be? All my life I have struggles against ethnic discrimination and racism. I would never belittle Turkishness or Armenianness. I wouldn't allow anyone else to do it either"

"We Armenians do desire this territory because our roots are here. But don't worry. We desire not to take this territory away but to come and be buried underneath it"

"We all have an intuition about something broken in the past. It's in our genetic code. Each Armenian family has experienced loss and that goes back to when survivors were scattered all over the world. Even if you flee from that sense of history, history doesn't let go of you. In Turkey, you face so many attacks against the Armenian identity that you find yourself in a defensive position whether you want to or not"

" My identity was always other and often belittled. I saw again and again that I was different. Many people who were like me were leaving the country, but I didn't want to leave - I wanted to stay and fight for what I thought was right."

"Armenians, especially of the diaspora, tend to have a problem associated with the role of the other, that the Turk has played in forming Armenian identity. There is a certain history. A trauma. The Turk has become such a source of pain that it has 'poisoned the Armenian blood', as the Anatolian saying goes. In my article I was addressing the Armenian world and saying, there are two ways of getting rid of this poison. One way is for the Turks to empathize with you and take action to reduce your trauma. At the moment this seems unlikely. The second way is for you to rid yourself of it yourself. Turn your attention towards the state of Armenia and replace the poisoned blood associated with the Turk with the fresh blood associated with Armenia."

"My computer's memory is loaded with sentences full of hatred and threats. I am just like a pigeon. I look around to my left and right, in front and behind me..."

...Իսկ աննշան եթէ մնայ

երկրի մէկ խորշն հողակոյտն իմ,

Եւ յիշատակս ալ թառամի,

Ահ, այն ատեն ես կը մեռնիմ...

January 25, 2007


Below we reprint an article written by Hrant Dink in 2005. We do so in the hope that readers will take the time to better acquaint themselves with the actual views and internal musings of the man himself through his own words. The article is entitled...

The Water Finds It's Crack: An Armenian in Turkey
The interest of foreign journalists, politicians and intellectuals in Turkey is more intense than ever. Their opening inquiries are clear and strong: “Where is Turkey going? Will nationalism increase? If it does, to what kind of a regime can Turkey slide?”

Then comes a special question, the one that people like me – a Turkish citizen and an Armenian – can always expect: “Are you minorities afraid of the way things are going?”

It is striking that those looking at Turkey from the outside are much more impatient, eager for quick answers and solutions, than those on the inside. To what degree is this impatience realistic? After all, throughout the period of the modern republic since 1923, Turkey is a country where changes have been dictated from top to bottom and thus one where inner dynamics from bottom to top are not easily activated. Turkish society is far more used to accepting change, allowing it to happen, than to initiating it.
To continue reading see OPEN DEMOCRACY

January 23, 2007



On Tuesday, January 23rd, Hrant Dink was laid to rest in the Armenian cemetery of Balikli, Istanbul, Turkey.

The funeral procession began at 11:00am outside the editorial offices of AGOS, the Turkish-Armenian newspaper that Hrant Dink edited. His wife, Rakel, released white doves as a symbol of peace and called on those in attendance to respect the wishes of the Hrant and not turn the solemn occasion into a political event.

Thousands of people joined the funeral march which escorted Hrant Dink's body the eight kilometers to the Armenian Church of the Virgin Mary in the Kumkapi district of Istanbul. There, Archbishop Mesrob II, Patriarch of the Armenian Church of Istanbul, presided over religious services for the repose of the soul of Hrant Dink.

Present at the funeral were dignitaries from Turkey, Armenia and elsewhere. Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia, Armen Kirakossian, traveled from Armenia to attend the services despite the fact that the two countries still do not enjoy diplomatic relations. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern diocese of the Armenian Church in the U.S., as well as Karen Mirzoyan, General Secretary of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Foundation, also were in attendance.

The Turkish government was officially represented by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin and Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu.


Dear Readers,

With all that has been said and written regarding Hrant Dink, his mission in life and the legacy he leaves in death, we would like to recommend a bit of introspection and a more comprehensive understanding of what Hrant actually stood for!!!!

It seems that today everyone wants a piece of this man . Turks, Kurds, Armenians, liberals, leftists , democrats, nationalists - they all want to claim Hrant Dink as their own.

Fortunately, we have the ability to understand what issues and ideologies made Hrant Dink the man he was through his own writings and statements and not the commentaries and interpretations of others.

We are lucky to have been sent news of a radio interview that Hrant Dink gave in Armenia in September of 2006 when he was in Yerevan to attend the last Armenia - Diaspora Conference.

We urge all to devote just 30 minutes to hear what Mr. Dink actually thought on a variety of issues relating to Turkish-Armenian relations, the role of the dispersion, Genocide recognition and the struggle for democracy and human rights in Turkey.

The interview shows the breath of the man's thinking and the universality of his concerns.

January 19, 2007


We have just heard the tragic news that Hrant Dink, an Armenian intellectual and writer in Turkey, was shot and killed outside the offices of AGOS , a newspaper he published in Istanbul.

Over the years Mr. Dink became the spokesperson for the 40,000 or so Armenian community in Turkey, often making statements on Turkish - Armenian relations that many found controversial on both sides of the divide.

Mr. Dink often ran afoul of the Turkish authorities for speaking out on the topic of the Armenian genocide and was charged several times with the crime of "insulting the Turkish nation".

For more news on this unfolding story please see the BBC and the International Herald Tribune.

For photos from the murder scene in Istanbul, see Yahoo.

The BBC has a short video clip of demonstrations in Istanbul condemning the murder.

Below is the statement made by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Hrant Dink's murder:

January 19, 2007(Unofficial Translation)We have learned with great sorrow that our citizen Hrant Dink, Editor in Chief of the Agos newspaper and a distinguished member of the Turkish Armenian Community lost his life today as a result of an armed attack at the entrance of the Agos newspaperÂ’s head office. We strongly deplore and condemn this heinous act. Our security forces have started the search to immediately arrest and bring to justice the perpetrator or perpetrators of this attack. The perpetrator or perpetrators of this attack shall be arrested in a short period of time and shall be brought before justice.
On the occasion of the loss of Mr. Hrant Dink who was also a well known public figure, an author and an intellectual, we extend our condolences to his family, loved ones, to the Agos newspaper, to our press and the Turkish people starting with the Turkish Armenian community. May his soul rest in peace.

Pokr Mher: We hope no one is naive enough to believe that the mastermind of this dastardly act was a lone teenaged gunman acting on his own. The Turkish state now sheds "crocodile tears" over Mr. Dink's murder but their actions and words for the past 90 years speaks volumes regarding just how sincere they are when it comes to telling the people of Turkey the historical truths regarding Turkish-Armenian relations and specifically the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Our thoughts are now with the tiny and beleaguered Armenian community of Istanbul who have lost a native son brave enough to speak his mind and thus participate in the wider struggle for truth and justice in Turkey.

January 16, 2007


According to a variety of media reports, construction of the controversial railway linking Turkey and Azerbaijan, via Georgia, will begin by no later than July 2007.

Georgian Economic Development Minister, Giorgi Arveladze, is quoted as saying that an agreement on the details of the new rail link was reached this past Sunday in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

The 285 kilometer project, which will take an estimated two and one-half years to complete, will start in Kars, Turkey and end in Baku, Azerbaijan. It will bypass Armenia completely and will not utilize the old Kars - Gyumri railroad.

Neither the United States nor the European Union will finance the project which is estimated to cost some USD 400 million. Turkey and Azerbaijan will pay for most of the construction costs, with Georgia later paying for these loans through transit fees.

Matthew Bryza, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs commented on the railway agreement by stating that,

"Of course, we would like the railway, which connects Turkey with Baku, to pass through Armenia, since it reflects our policy. Second, from economic point of view it is more expedient to connect Turkey and Georgia through Armenian territory. But we cannot make decisions on that issue. Investors themselves push forward investment plans, which are more profitable for them. If Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia want to construct a railway, of course, we cannot object. But we do not particularly support that project. We hope that in near future we will see such a transportation scheme, which includes all the countries of the region ."


In the January 15th edition of Turkish Daily News we came across the following " news story "...

Archaeologists unearthed a grave in which a human, a horse and a dog were buried, for the first time, in northeastern Anatolia. The discovery of such a grave is accepted as important evidence that ties between Anatolia and Central Asia go back thousands of years. Alpaslan Ceylan of Atatürk University in Erzurum told the Anatolia news agency that the grave was uncovered as a result of a project called “Turkish World Survey Works” and that the grave dated back to around 1,000-2,000 B.C. “Turkish history should be re-written,” he said, adding: “The discovery of the grave is important in terms of Anatolian history. The burial of a human, a horse and a dog in the same grave is a tradition common to the Central Asian and Crimean regions where there are many such graves. However, it is the first time such a grave has been unearthed in Anatolia. It is important evidence showing that the ties between Anatolia and Central Asia dates back thousands of years.

While we do not claim to be archeologists but we ask you....find some bones and now we're lead to believe that the history of Anatolia must be rewritten to conform to the political mythologies of the Turkish state???

January 13, 2007


Mesrob II, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul Delivers
New Year's Message In Holy Mother of God Church

In the January 11th edition of Hurriyet there is an article that cites figures from a recent study made by the Turkish Police Headquarters that deals with the number of places of worship in Turkey.

According to the report there are some 77,777 mosques in Turkey.

The report cites 373 official houses of worship for non-Muslims at the end of 2006. Interestingly, while only some 2,000 Greeks reside in Turkey, the report cites some 90 active Greek Orthodox churches in Turkey - 75 in Istanbul alone.

According to the report there are some 45 working Armenian churches in Istanbul, with an additional 7 in Hatay and 1 each in the towns of Mardin, Kayseri and Diyarbekir. These numbers would seem to be artificially exaggerated since the website of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the United States (Eastern Diocese) cites only 35 churches in Istanbul and 1 each in Hatay (Vakif), Kayseri, Iskenderoun and Diyarbekir.

Regardless of the correct number, suffice it to say that the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul must walk a fine line when it deals with the Turkish government in matters of church property ownership and maintenance of said holdings.

Just last December, Turkish President Ahmet Sezer vetoed a key piece of reform legislation called the "foundations law" which was designed to broaden religious freedom in Turkey for its non-Muslim minorities which constitute only 1% of the overall population. The legislation, which passed after months of heated debate in the Turkish Parliament, would have enabled the country's religious minorities to regain their property rights and reclaim dozens of valuable properties confiscated by the Turkish state over the past three decades. To read more on this subject please visit the website of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul.

January 11, 2007


In the January 10th on-line edition of the Ankara-based Journal of Turkish Weekly, there appears a translation of a purported 1985 meeting of the Soviet Politburo that debated the pros and cons of officially proclaiming April 24th as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day throughout the Soviet Union.

According to the article, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Karen Demirchian, First Secretary of Armenia's Communist Party, had sent a letter regarding the issue to the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party. At the time Mikhail Gorbachev was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of The Soviet Union.

Those who wish to read more regarding the alleged meeting, the minutes of which were recently unearthed by an Azeri scholar doing research at the United States National Security Archives, should visit the Journal of Turkish Weekly.


(Ankara; 1/10/2007)

According to Hurriyet, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan of Turkey made a reference to Nagorno-Karabakh during a speech he gave to his ruling AKP (Justice & Development Party) in Ankara on January 10th.

The Prime Minister, in pointing out that Iraq had become more of a priority for Turkey than the European Union, stated that Turkey would not remain passive to the unfolding situation in the oil-rich region of Kirkuk, which is contested among Kurds, Arabs and its Turkoman minorities.

Erdogan mentioned that, " serious attempts are being made to change the demographics of Kirkuk." Continuing, the Turkish Prime Minister noted that, "The logic that, we did it - so it's a done-deal, which was used in Nagorno-Karabakh, is now being used in Kirkuk."

January 01, 2007

PRESIDENT ALIYEV'S NEW YEAR MESSAGE TO ARTSAKH: Azerbaijan Is Capable Of Liberating Its Lands At Any Time And In Any Way!!!!

In his New Year's message to the people of Azerbaijan, President Aliyev touched on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Here are those excerpts from his statement....

The notorious referendum, which has been held in Nagorno-Karabakh recently, has confirmed once again how strong and fair our positions are. The whole world, all the international organizations expressed their attitude to that condemning the illegal referendum held by the illegitimate, criminal regime. I hope the opposite side will demonstrate constructivism, and the Azerbaijan’s land will be freed from occupiers. Great attention is also paid to army building. I stated as early as two years ago that Azerbaijan’s military budget should level the total budget of Armenia. We have managed to achieve the goal: Azerbaijan’s military spending is reaching the total budget of Armenia in 2007, and is expected to exceed it in the years to come. On the one hand, it shows that we keep our promises, on the other one, we need to make our army more powerful. We are negotiating but the enemy must know that Azerbaijan is capable to liberate its lands at any time and in any way, and it will do that. Attention to army will be further raised. This is our policy, and it makes me very glad when it is supported by people; such support is very important to me.