COLOGNE, Germany — Thirteen years have passed since Hrant Dink was murdered in front of the office of Agos, the newspaper he directed as editor in chief. Although the young assailant was apprehended, arrested and convicted, others accused of complicity, as well as those who ordered the assassination, have still not been brought to justice.
This year, Armenian, German and Turkish intellectuals and civil society activists joined again to commemorate the man who fought for recognition of the Armenian genocide and to keep alive the spirit of reconciliation he embodied. On January 18 in Cologne and on January 19, the anniversary of his death, in Frankfurt, events took place organized by several groups, including the Hrant Dink Forum, the German-Armenian Society (DAG), Kultur Forum Türkei Deutschland (KFTD), TÜDAY Human Rights Organization and medico international.
In Cologne, representing the Armenian community were the Primas of the Armenian Church in Germany, Bishop Serovpé Isakhanyan, and DAG President Dr. Raffi Kantian. Turkish-German author Doğan Akhanlı participated, and Dilan Yazıcıoğlu presented selections from his monodrama “Anna’s Silence.” Can Dündar, the former chief editor of Cumhuriyet, has collected texts by Dink and contrasted them to materials form the court records of the trial against his murderer. A critic of the Erdogan government, he is among the growing number of journalists and intellectuals who have fled Turkey to escape persecution. (See https://mirrorspectator.com/2018/05/03/journalist-can-dundar-in-german-exile/) Two films were shown at the meeting, the first by Osman Okkan, co-founder of the KFTD, and film maker, entitled, “Mordakte Hrant Dink” (Hrant Dink Murder Files). The second was “No Darkness Can Make Us Forget” by Hüseyin Karabey. The music program featured Nare Karoyan on the piano, accompanying singer Judith Hoffmann.
The Frankfurt event also included films, a round table discussion and concert. In addition to Okkam, Dündar and Kantian, journalist Banu Güven and Green Party political figure Cem Özdemir took part. The 2007 film “In the Swallows’ Nest” deals with the Armenian orphanage outside Istanbul where Hrant Dink spent mart of his youth, and “A Choir,” a 1996 film about an Armenian chorus in Paris, which depicts life in the diaspora. The music program offered Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish songs, performed by the Lale Koçgün and Ensemble.
(All photos are by Krikor Manugian.)