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22.1.14

Dink Commemoration and Demonstration Held in Ankara

On January 18, 2014 a conference was organized by the Ankara Freedom to Thought Initiative and National Congress of Western Armenians at the Alba Hotel in Ankara. Scholars, human rights activists and journalists from around Turkey came together to mark the anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink.

Progressive and leftist scholars and activists from Turkey discussed Hrant Dink’s life, legacy, and the circumstances that led to his assassination. The current judgment against those responsible was deemed wholly inadequate and a travesty of justice.
They spoke of the link between the assassination and the Armenian genocide. Various speakers placed the genocide in historical context, calling for not just recognition of the crime but also the return of Armenian properties. One speaker proposed erecting an Armenian genocide monument in Turkey by 2015. It was stated that the genocide is a collective crime that cannot be ignored.
Some speakers touched on the recent meeting Prime Minster Recep Erdogan had with Turkish diplomats on plans to counter genocide recognition. The role of Azerbaijan was also discussed.
Finally, issues of Armenian identity in Turkey today were raised. One participant noted that the government of Turkey has openly acknowledged that there are 5 million citizens in Turkey today of Armenian descent. Examples were given of the types of discrimination these Armenians face in the country.
Writer and activist George Aghjayan was the only diasporan Armenian among the speakers (read full text here), while MP Aragats Akhoyan (Prosperous Armenia) was the only speaker from Armenia.
On Sunday, January 19 there was a  demonstration of some 1,000 people in Güvenpark.


"The Armenian Weekly," January 22, 2014

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