On January 19th, a capacity crowd attended an evening of remembrance in honor of Hrant Dink at the Armenian Youth Centre in Alfortville, France, which was organized by the “Nazarpek” S.D. Hentchakian Youth Association.
The event coincided with the 4th anniversary of Hrank Dink’s cowardly and brutal murder on the streets of Istanbul, just outside the offices of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos. As editor-in-chief of the Agos, Dink was a prominent member of the Armenian minority in Turkey, best known for advocating Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and human and minority rights in Turkey. He was also critical of Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.
After reading the exceptional plight and struggles of Hrant Dink, a moment of silence was held in his memory. The moment of silence was followed with the screenings of two documentaries:
The first film; “the Assassination of Hrant Dink,” was a biographical documentary filmed by the journalists of channel ARTE, depicting the life of Hrant Dink, from his childhood to his assassination. The documentary highlighted the struggle for reconciliation through dialogue and understanding within the Armenian and Turkish civil society, in an effort to find common ground, establish healing and rebuild with one another.
The second film “We Drank the Same Water” was directed by the evening’s guest of honor Serge Avedikian. The documentary deals with the first hand account of the difficultly to establish dialogue between Armenians and Turks. Filmed in a span of twenty years, the director; on three separate occasions explores Soloz, a town his Armenian ancestors had lived in and were forced to abandon, which is now populated by ethnic Turks whose families settled there in the 1920s as part of the large-scale ‘population exchanges’ of the period after they have been displaced from their habitual areas of residence near Thessaloniki in today’s
Greece. Through Mr. Avedikian’s documentary one experiences’ the differing good and bad reactions of the present day population of the town, as well as the resistance to accept that genocide had indeed taken place.
The filmmaker, who won the 2010 Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival in the short film category for his film “Bitch of Life,” was accompanied by journalist Ms. Burcin Gerçek, who had been his interpreter in the documentary. They both gave their opinion on the struggles and personality of Hrant Dink, along
with discussing the changes affecting Turkish society’s tolerance towards the “Armenian Question.”
The evening ended with an exchange of questions, opinions and ideas between the large audience, Ms. Burcin Gerçek, and Mr. Avedikian.