Five years ago today, Armenian-Turkish editor Hrant Dink was murdered. Today 20,000 people have demonstration in Istanbul to mark his death.
Many are also angry at the outcome of a court case, involving 19 people suspected of being linked to the murder. Three were jailed for incitement to murder.
I’m often sceptical of court cases which become political causes. Some, though, genuinely do rise above the facts of the individual case to be debates about the injustices buried within the political system. Stephen Lawrence, Mumia Abu Jamal.
Hrant Dink fits among them. For a start, his killing was beyond doubt political. The trial just finished revolved around a nationalist group, whose members were
There may have been connections between them and the security services. There were certainly connections between their ideology and that of the rest of Turkish society. They were closer to the mainstream than Dink himself, who had been prosecuted for “insulting the Turkish identity”.
There’s been a fair amount of coverage of Dink today. I’m a little disappointed, though, that the Streisand effect hasn’t really kicked in, at least in the anglophone parts of the internet which I notice. It’s a shame, because the articles I’ve found by Dink are really rather good. Here he is in an article which connects Turkeys relations with the EU to the treatment of minorities within Turkish society:
the EU finds nearly all elements of Turkish society and its institutions divided against itself on the issue. Political left and right, secular and religious, nationalist and liberal, state bureaucracy and military — the situation is the same in that everywhere there are internal conflicts over Europe at least as much as conflicts between the camps.
Since no part of Turkish society is homogeneously “for” or “against” the European Union, the EU process has had a singular effect: dissolving Turkey’s existing polarisations and becoming itself the main inner dynamic of Turkish development.