ISTANBUL (Hurriyet)—Hrant Dink was a model of integrity because he not only fought for a certain group but he fought for all groups, anti-globalist activist and journalist Naomi Klein said Monday at a seminar in Istanbul.
“When I did some reading about Dink I was struck to learn that he was not only opposing racism against just Armenians but against all people,” Klein said, adding that what Dink seemed more preoccupied with was not his own victimization, but whether what he said could be perceived as something racist.
Klein spoke at a seminar at Bogazici University titled “The Power of Being Consistent: Insisting on Palestinian Humanity in the Western Media.” The seminar was organized as part of a conference held in memory of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. “He is now part of [Turkey’s] collective history,” Klein said.
“If a journalist was killed in front of his own newspaper, every journalist, wherever they live, would react to it,” Klein said, adding that she had not met Dink. “[They] wanted to silence Dink, but at his funeral [they] saw that his voice was becoming stronger,” Klein told Hurriyet in an exclusive interview prior to the seminar.
Klein said rather than eliminating Dink’s freedom of speech, what hurt him the most was to show him as an enemy to Turks, according to what she read about him. “If I made a very small contribution to keeping his name alive, I would be so happy. We can rebel against the bullet he was shot with by keeping him alive,” she said, adding that she thought the aim of his murder was to make him be forgotten.
As a Jew from Canada, it is risky to criticize Israel, Klein added. “Maybe I am not afraid of being shot for criticizing Israel, but there are certain methods to be punished. For instance, there are people who cannot find a job because they criticized Israel,” she said.
According to Klein, the best way she can honor Dink’s life is to risk herself and speak out against Israel. “There is not much difference between the reaction Israel gives to Palestinians defending human rights and the reaction against Dink,” she said.