Commentary No : 2017 / 6
2 min read

It has been ten years since the editor-in-chief of Agos Newspaper Hrant Dink lost his life in a heinous attack.

As an Anatolian intellectual, Hrant Dink believed that the only way to overcome the dispute between Turks and Armenians is direct dialogue between these two sides. For Dink, maybe the most crucial reason for the dispute between Turks and Armenians was the existence of the close bond between them. Dink also believed that for the healing of that bond between Turks and Armenians, which has been ruptured because of having fallen victim to the political discourse surrounding 1915 events, the dialogue between the two sides should not be made dependent on the recognition of genocide by a French, a German, an American or especially a Turk. He did not want Armenians’ problems of the past history or of today to be reduced to a capital or, frequently, to a meze [aperitif] for others to use or profit from in Europe, or in the Americas, nor did he accept the despicable mediation of disinterested third parties. Dink was a believer in the ability of Turks and Armenians to freely speak of that [their] history while never invoking a dispute from it. Dink’s most important legacy has been this highly valuable perspective.

AVİM holds the conviction that discourses that are dictated by third countries and by those who feed from the pains of the past should be left aside to pave the way for the establishment of a fair and common future without being held captive by the common painful past.

Unfortunately, Hrant Dink’s novel way of thinking has already begun to be forgotten ten years after his passing, his thought legacy has fallen victim to this unhealthy psychological trauma that gnaws and consumes Armenian identity, and has been forced to become dependent and needy on third parties’ support. This legacy is especially being ignored by certain circles who hide behind Dink’s name. Instead of following in the footsteps of Dink and becoming facilitators of a fair dialogue between Turks and Armenians free from distorted discourses imposed by the third parties, these circles have become followers and supporters of anti-Turkish discourses of foreign origin. We know that had Hrant Dink’s legacy not been exploited, the year 2015 could have become a unique opportunity for a hopeful future for Turks and Armenians instead of the meaningless taboo it came to be.

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