Hrant Dink Park Opens in Mersin



Rakel Dink and others at the opening of the Hrant Dink Park

MERSIN, Turkey (Firant news agency) — BDP’s Mersin Akdeniz Municipality has named a park and built a monument, both in honor of Hrant Dink. Dink, chief editor of the bilingual newspaper Agos, was murdered on January 19, 2007.

Hundreds of Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Armenians, Christians and Alevis came together in Mersin for the opening of Hrant Dink Park and monument which were made by the Akdeniz Municipality.

Following a dance performance by primary school students, the opening ceremony was made with the participation of prominent figures, such as Labor, Democracy and Freedom Block’s Mersin Independent Candidate Ertugrul Kürkcü; Dink’s wife, Rakel, and daughter, Delal Dink; BDP Provincial Chair Cihan Yilmaz; Akdeniz Municipality Mayor M. Fazil Türk; Agos Editor Rober Koptas; Armenian writer Vartak Estukyan; representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox churches in Mersin; journalists Ali Bayramoglu and Celal Baslangic and several other artists and poets.

Making the opening speech of the ceremony, which drew much interest from the public and media, Türk started off by expressing his pleasure of giving one of the most honorable and meaningful services during his presidency. Türk said: “We are giving this park the name of Hrant who was murdered with an unacceptable malicious attack. We will give a fight for the values peace, democracy and equality that he died for. We will not be afraid of those different us and we will keep take the differences as our richness. Everybody is equal in this country and deserves equal treatment. I once more condemn the dark hands that shadow this brotherhood. Dark focuses will not be able to prevent the breeding ground of the seeds of peace and freedom in our country. Names like Hrant Dink are the cornerstones on this way. We bow respectfully before the memory of our peace dove. We will not forget the name Hrant Dink.”

Emphasizing that Dink is a companion who sacrificed his life for the peoples’ liberty and for the great action of Deniz Gezmis and his companions, Kürkcü said: “While entrusting himself to the conservation of the Turkish people, Hrant wanted to believe in something that was yet not proved. We, however, saw that this vessel head was not that much protective. The peoples cannot exist alone. They lapse into a political statement. And, unfortunately, the state, our political statement, is not on very good terms with its people, other peoples, families and religions. The murder of Hrant Dink is bitter realization of this bitter truth. We now owe an apology to the Armenian people and to our brother Hrant Dink. And what a bitter fate is it that this apology is paid by a Kurdish local official, not by a dominant element of the state. In other words, the Kurdish people, on behalf of Turkey’s peoples, have begun to apologize for the cruelty toward the Armenian people. We need to take this as an example. Turkey cannot put the blame of all happenings on minorities, others and the expelled. Turkey needs to face with its truth and its history.”

Kürkcü who called referred to Dink as “our companion,” was followed by Dink’s widow, who emphasized that this name recalls of cruelty created by discrimination, racism and fascism and said: “My husband gave a fight for truths along his life. He tried to address the unfairness suffered by all peoples but he was responded with death. But the only thing to console us is that his thoughts have expanded and born new people thinking like him. And I can see this picture here today. This idea is just a point to face the past. Our history is full of lots of pains.”

The speeches were followed by concerts from the MKM (Mesopotamian Culture Center) group and Kardes Türküler who showed their support through their songs about freedom, equality and peace. The program ended with the opening of the Hrant Dink Park and monument.

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