FRESNO/CLOVIS—Rakel Dink, wife of slain Agos Weekly Editor Hrant Dink, paid a historical visit to the Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School. Accompanied by Pastor Mgrditch Melkonian of the First Armenian Presbyterian Church, Ms. Dink addressed the students during morning assembly.
“I’m happy to see all of you in an Armenian school,” she said, recalling her days as a youth growing up in the Armenian Orphanage of Istanbul and the Tuzla Armenian Children’s Camp of Marmara. It was at these institutions where she learned Armenian and met her future husband.
In 1996, Hrant Dink co-founded the Agos Weekly, a bilingual newspaper devoted to Turkish-Armenian relations and progressive issues in the Republic of Turkey. He was jailed three times under the government’s infamous Article 301 for denigrating the state, and at times his editorials even drew criticism from the Armenian Diaspora.
“Through his newspaper, he was not afraid to write and let the whole world know his viewpoint,” said CKACS Armenian language and culture instructor Maral Markarian.
On January 19, 2007, a young Turkish assassin gunned down Dink in front of his editorial offices. The act was considered so repugnant by many citizens that over 100,000 mourners marched in his funeral procession, carrying signs and chanting “We are all Armenians, We are all Hrant Dink.”
Ms. Dink was in Fresno to deliver two talks at the First Armenian Presbyterian Church, which also included a screening of the documentary Hrant Dink: Mercy and Truth Have Met Together.