A documentary on the Armenian journalist and intellectual Hrant Dink has been released on the 15th anniversary of his death.
Dink, a citizen of Turkey, was assassinated by an armed assailant on the 19 January 2007. He was shot by Ogün Samast near the offices of the Armenian newspaper Agos in one of the most crowded spots in İstanbul, and died instantly.
He was the founder and editor-in-chief of Agos.
Although a photograph of Turkish police posing together with the assassin holding up the Turkish flag immediately after the murder sparked a scandal in Turkey, many police officers were later to blatantly show their sympathy for him by wearing beanie hats the same as he had worn.
Ümit Kıvanç, the creator of the documentary, entitled ‘Hafıza Yetersiz‘ (Insufficient Memory), spoke to Alin Ozinian on Gerçek TV. At one point he underlined the legacy of Dink in bringing forth the issue of the Armenian question, that would help understand the greatest conflict or problem buried in the foundations of the Turkish republic.
“This is the most crucial conflict and issue in these lands. This is the issue that will lead to a fundamental understanding. How was this country founded, what happened?” Kıvanç said.
“Why do some people who look like determined opposition figures sometimes take the same stance as the state, the right and fascists? Why are certain issues ignored in the name of class approach? And how does this seem normal to a lot of people? These are fundamental issues (…) The door was opened on all this. I mean, Hrant wasn’t killed for nothing.”
Kıvanç went on to say that actually it was not to be expected thst the general public in Turkey would start facing historical facts all at once.
“A great spiritual power is required now in order for the Turkish people to accept that they must face historical facts. They need a source of spiritual power. Where will they get that spiritual power? They only had religion, and that has become an instrument in the hands of government contractors and contracts.”
Kıvanç also told how Dink impacted his life, and had started a process of change for him.
“The Agos experience changed me tremendously,” he said, simply.
“Up to a certain point in our lives we used to think that Armenians were a minority living only in Istanbul. OK, you hear from time to time that they were also living in Anatolia, but you can’t really imagine it. You can’t imagine how solid that was (…) You see your own shortcomings. You see the shortcomings and deprivations of the society in which you live. Meeting that particular person and the process that followed was the thing that led me through all these. It can be regarded as a great change and a great contribution to this life.”