Saturday, January 20, 2007

Will Turkey learn from the tragic assassination of Hrant Dink?

January 20, 2007
By Vahe Balabanian

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King was shot dead in the southern US city of Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a march of sanitation workers protesting against low wages and poor working conditions.

On January 19, 2007 Hrant Dink a prominent newspaper editor, columnist and voice for Turkey’s ethnic Armenians who was prosecuted for challenging the official Turkish version of the 1915 Armenian genocide, was shot dead as he left his office on a busy street in central Istanbul.

In 1986, Martin Luther King Day was established as a United States holiday. In 2004, King was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. He was known as a great public speaker. Dr. King often called for personal responsibility in fostering world peace. King's most influential and well-known public address is the "I Have A Dream" speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Hrant Dink’s story still remains to be written in Turkey. According to Fatma Muge Gocek in her “In Memoriam: Hrant Dink, 1954-2007”, Hrant Dink’s unwavering belief in the fundamental goodness of all humans regardless of their race, ethnic origin, regardless of what they had personally or communally experienced; his unwavering vision that we in Turkey were going to one day be able to finally confront our past and come to terms with our faults, mistakes and violence as well as our so brandied about virtues; his unwavering trust that we all would manage to live together in peace one day.

It is now Turkey’s turn to demonstrate its greatness by making Hrant Dink Turkey’s Martin Luther King.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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