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WHY HRANT DINK AND WHY NOW?

Ömer Engin LÜTEM, Retired Ambassador
23 January 2007 - ERAREN
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!áºÀ ellspacing="0" ceÿbWHY HRANT DINK AND WHY NOW?¨

It shall be useful to address two questions regarding the murder of Hrant Dink to shed light on this seemingly complex matter. True, Hrant Dink did believe that an Armenian ‘genocide’ took place, but he did not concur in full with the views of the Armenian militants and contrary to the Diaspora, he was against making the ‘genocide’ issue a way of life for the Armenians. As opposed to targeting someone sharing all the views of the Armenian militants, Hrant Dink was selected for this murder due to him being well-known abroad and because his murder would draw a great deal of attention.

 this murder due to him being well-known abroad and because his murder would draw a great deal of attention. In other words, he was deliberately selected due to the greater advantages it would present in terms of propaganda. As such, following the death of Hrant Dink, among the Diaspora and in Armenia accusations were leveled against Turkey in this regard.

Answering the question of “why now?” necessitates that one looks at those issues on the international agenda regarding the Armenian question. At present, two such topics stand out. The first, the draft resolution calling for the recognition of the Armenian ‘genocide’ expected to be presented in less than no time to the U.S. House of Representatives. Asserting that this would have an adverse effect upon its relations with Turkey, the U.S. Government has come out against this draft resolution. However, the negative outburst against Turkey engendered by the murder of Hrant Dink could cast a damper on the U.S. government’s initiatives in this regard. The second topic on the agenda, is the draft bill adopted by the French National Assembly last October, foreseeing the penalization of those denying the Armenian ‘genocide’ with a jail sentence of up to two years, and a fine of 45,000 Euros. Taking the right of ‘freedom of expression’ into consideration, the French Senate has shown signs of resistance to this bill. Nevertheless, a mass meeting was held for the bill to be placed on the Senate’s agenda last week in Paris, to which several French politicians attended. Hrant Dink being shot approximately 36 hours after the mass meeting drew to a close, has agitated the ill sentiment directed towards Turkey.

That all high-level authorities in Turkey, have strongly condemned the murder of Hrant Dink, and participated in his funeral, and that the culprit was captured upon the notification of his own father, may help mitigate the negative outburst directed against Turkey caused by this unfortunate event.

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