Friday, January 18, 2008

Remembering Hrant

Tomorrow is the 1st anniversary of the death of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Much controversy surrounds the investigation into his murder, which many, including Dink's family, say has been obstructed at every turn by police and the judicial system.
Instead of focusing on the controversy, I would like to remember the man. He was someone who promoted tolerance, dialogue and understanding among ethnic groups in Turkey. He was unafraid to voice his opinions on events in Turkish history, even if it meant being prosecuted under an archaic law, Article 301 of the Turkish constitution, multiple times. He recognized the progress that Turkey has made in human rights and tolerance of different groups, while also realizing that it has a long way to go in these areas.
I know that Dink's death was not in vain. His killing was a wake up call to many in this country and elsewhere, not just in realizing that dark forces are "out there," but in looking within and finding that it is also oneself harboring the hate and intolerance that can lead to such violence.

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