ISTANBUL — A discussion on “What happened on April 24? What happened on January 19?” at Istanbul’s Bilgi University signaled the launch of Armenian Genocide commemoration ceremonies. Bagrat Estukian from Agos newspaper, Dr. Arus Yumul and Bilgi University professor Tolka Tivziv delivered speeches, focusing on works by Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink murdered on January 19, 2007. They hailed Dink’s contribution in introducing the fact of Genocide in Turkish consciousness.
In his speech Bilgi University professor called for Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide and compensation.
“In 1912, 20% of population of the empire constituted non-Muslim groups, the percentage dropping to 2,4% in 1927. What happened to those people? We know that it was Genocide, and we must face the reality, ask for forgiveness and compensate the damage inflicted,” he said, adding that organization of such events will continue to rid the public from deception and denial policy.
According to Dr. Yumul, Dink’s assassination sparked fears over recurrence of such acts.
“This makes a lot of people keep their origin in secret, with others prefering to flee the country,” Yumul said.
The event was organized by “Anti-capitalist students” group, which openly declares that it recognize the Armenian Genocide.
On January 19, 2007, Hrant Dink, a well-known Armenian Turkish journalist of, editor of the Agos weekly issued in Turkey, was shot outside the Agos newspaper offices in Istanbul, where he served as editor-in-chief, by a 17-year-old Turkish nationalist. This year marks the 5th anniversary of Dink’s assassination.