Tens of thousands gathered in Istanbul to mark the seventh anniversary of the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink on Jan 19, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
The Friends of Hrant Dink organization, established in memory of the slain journalist, called for a march from Taksim Square, which ended with homage to Dink in front of the Agos newspaper’s office building in the Pangaltı neighborhood of Şişli.
Police took tight security measures around Istanbul’s Taksim Square and closed Gezi Park, which was the site of massive resistance against the government last summer, ahead of the commemoration.
The crowd marched to the front of Armenian weekly Agos, where Hrant Dink was murdered in broad daylight by a 17-year-old nationalist in 2007.
The marchers chanted the slogan “Buradayız Ahparig!” (a half-Turkish, half-Armenian slogan meaning “We are here, brother"), “For Hrant, for justice,” and “We are all Armenians,” in front of the Agos office. A popular chant from the Gezi Park protests, “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance,” was also heard.
After the rally ended, the crowd marched to Taksim.
A small group of Turkish football club Trabzonspor fans also attracted attention, carrying a banner that read "We have not forgotten" in honor of the slain journalist.
Samast and those involved in instigating the murder were based in Trabzon, and the Black Sea side's supporters are infamous for their ultranationalism. During the march, the Trabzonspor supporters chanted "Trabzonspor is here, where are the gangs?"
The Dink murder case remains unsolved, with the court ruling that it was not a result of an organized crime to the dismay of Dink’s family and supporters. The ruling was made despite serious claims that a number of civil servants linked to the “deep state” were “indirectly” involved.
The acquittal of top suspects was ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeals and many key suspects charged as instigators of the murder, such as Yasin Hayal and Erhan Tuncel, are currently being retried.
The organizers of the commemorative march also denounced the trial process, accusing the state of protecting those responsible for the murder.