Turkish police posed for picture with killer of Armenian journalist
Saturday 03 February 2007
Less than a fortnight after huge crowds thronged the streets of Istanbul at the funeral of the murdered Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, chanting, "We are all Armenian," Turkey yesterday showed another, more sinister face.
Turkish newspapers and television news programmes carried images of the man accused of shooting Mr Dink posing proudly behind a Turkish flag with police officers. In the background was a poster bearing the words of Mustafa Kemal Attaturk: "The nation's land is sacred. It cannot be left to fate."
The video caused shock and consternation as commentators warned it was another sign of the growing power of Turkish ultra- nationalism as the nation gears up for parliamentary and presidential elections later this year.
Ismet Berkan, editor of the liberal newspaper Radikal, said that the release of the video was like killing Mr Dink a second time. It proved, he claimed, "that the murderer and his associates are not alone, that their supporters ... have penetrated all segments of the state."
Hrant Dink was the founder and editor of Agos, the weekly newspaper of Turkey's small and beleaguered Armenian population. Since launching the paper he had fought tirelessly to improve relations between Turkey and Armenia, which have been in deep freeze since the extermination of Armenia's large community in Anatolia between 1915 and 1917, the first genocide of the 20th century.
Mr Dink told Turks to face the facts about the genocide, but his great goal was reconciliation. When France passed a law making denial of the Armenian genocide a criminal offence, for example, Mr Dink declared that he would go to France to deny it himself. He wrote that Armenians should "clear their blood of hatred for the Turks".
Mangled in reiteration by Turkish nationalist websites, these words became "Turkish blood is dirty" - sparking 17-year-old Ogun Samast to travel to Istanbul from the Black Sea city of Trabzon and shoot Mr Dink outside his office. Seven others, all from Trabzon, have now been arrested for involvement.
A police spokesperson said an investigation into the video footage and its leaking was under way.
Top Un: North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un is Maverick as he poses with all-female pilot crew of the Anti-Air Force Unit
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete 'cheated on me' with Reeva Steenkamp, former girlfriend Samantha Taylor tells Pretoria court
Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Italian pensioner hires an escort who turns out to be his son's girlfriend
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...