Thousands of people flocked on Friday to the former address of Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos in Şişli district of İstanbul to commemorate the slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink on the 11th anniversary of his assassination.
According to a report by Bianet, Bülent Aydın, a member of the group of Hrant’s Friends, made a speech at the window of former Agos building and said that “We have come once again to be the voice of the truth he put into words, and memorialize our friend… We are having a cold but a sunny day. We are here with the agonizing coldness of that day but warmth of being together here. We did not forget him. Hrant Dink is among us.”
Among the attendees were pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies Selina Doğan, Barış Yarkadaş, Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Ali Şeker, Chair of the Turkish Medical Association Raşit Tükel, Alper Taş from the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP), artists Ferhat Tunç and Nur Sürer.
Dink was shot dead with three bullets on Jan. 19, 2007 in front Agos’ then-main office, located on the Halaskargazi Street in Şişli. Every year since then thousands of mourners have attended a commemoration ceremony for him, laying carnations at the spot where he was killed. This year also placards reading “Justice for Hrant” were attached to the former newspaper building.
Before the commemoration ceremony kicked off, police closed off the Haskargazi Street and side streets linking to it to traffic. Police officers allowed people wishing to join the commemoration to enter through barricades, subjecting them to brief security searches.
Despite 11 years having passed, little progress has been made regarding Dink’s case. Ogün Samast, who was aged 17 at the time of the shooting, was jailed for 23 years in 2011 for the killing. But speculation about the involvement of other groups inside and outside the state apparatus has persisted, and a number of slow-moving investigations are still ongoing.