ISTANBUL, YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Thousands of people marked on Monday the second anniversary of the slaying Turkish Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, whose dedication to the truth earned him the ire of nationalists and the respect of millions across the world. His sacrifice was both mourned and celebrated across the world, especially in Armenia and Turkey.
In Turkey, thousands gathered at the spot of his assassination in front of the multilingual Agos weekly to light candles in his honor. Banners reading "For Hrant. For Justice," were also on the ground marking the place of his death. Thousands of people with one voice were chanting, "Just to spite fascism, you are my brother Hrant," as they gathered to commemorate Dink on the second anniversary of his murder.
Meanwhile, thousands in Yerevan marked his murder with a procession to the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial Monument.
"Today the mankind of the world, including the Armenia’s of the Diaspora, mourn over Hrant Dink’s martyr. He lived his life as a peculiar symbol, a symbol of independence, freedom, democracy, tolerance. All this was not forgiven by extremists," Armenia’s Diaspora Minister, Hranoush Hakobian told reporters after the vigil. "With his death he helped expand the struggle for democracy and freedom [in Turkey]."
A march through Yerevan to Dzidzernagapert was also organized to commemorate the life and murder of the Agos editor.
Dink, the Editor of Turkey’s bilingual “Agos” Daily newspaper, was shot outside his offices on January 19, 2007, in an alleged nationalist killing because he had campaigned for better relations between Turkey and Armenia. Dink had been prosecuted in Turkey several times before his death for calling for an end to Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.
His killing led to international condemnation and debate within Turkey about free speech. The alleged gunman and several others have gone on trial over his death.