Social Change Foundation official Cengiz Algan presented the results of the scanning of 20 different newspapers regarding publications on hate crimes at the Conference on Hate Speech and Hate Crimes organized by the International Hrant Dink Foundation (UHDV) at Bilgi University in Istanbul during the last weekend.
Algan announced the report of his newspaper scan to be published by the end of April. "Groups exposed to hate crimes might feel even more humiliated when the hate crimes are not being penalized in the necessary way. They can feel even more helpless when they lose faith in the judiciary and in the public", Algan said.
Göktaş: Islamic media made Dink a target as well
Journalist Kemal Göktaş from Vatan newspaper expounded examples of how news items and columns in the national media served the purpose of creating the ground for the assassination of journalist Hrant Dink in 2007. The Turkish-Armenian chief editor of the Armenian Agos newspaper was killed in front of his office.
Journalist Göktaş quoted examples of how Hrant Dink had been made a target by the media within ten days after Agos newspaper had reported a statement about Sabiha Gökçen, one of the step daughters of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk , founder of the Turkish Republic. The Armenian weekly had claimed that Gökçen "originated from an Armenian family". As the world's first female combat pilot and the first Turkish aviatrix, Atatürk's step daughter held an important place in the model of society developed in Turkey after 1915. Subsequent to the according report in Agos newspaper, officials voiced threats and it was stated in the media that Gökçen came from a Bosnian family instead of an Armenian one, journalist Göktaş recalled.
Göktaş concluded, "We see that Dink was identified as a target not only by the nationalist and discriminatory media, but also by the media publishing in line with Islamism".
Kutlutürk: Isolated life of a small number of Armenian people
Bülent Kutlutürk from Malatya Radio Fırat and Yenigün newspaper argued, "There are amazing similarities between idealistic actions, coverage of the media and attitude of authorities in regard of the preparations of the Hrant Dink murder and the Zirve Publishing House massacre". Three people working for Zirve Publishers, a publishing company for Christian texts in Malatya, were killed in April 2007.
Journalist Kutlutürk talked about his studies into the approach of the local media prior to the incident at the publishing house. He concluded that hate speeches had an underestimated effect in identifying Christians as targets.
Kutlutürk furthermore described the situation in Malatya, a city with a population of about 700,000 people in south-eastern Turkey. According to the journalist, Alevis are exposed to pressure by people who prefer to dress modern instead of traditionally. A small number of Armenian people lead an isolated life in secrecy, Kutlutürk said.
Doğanay introduced İHOP study
Prof. Dr Ülkü Doğanay from Ankara University presented the results of the study carried out on behalf of the Human Rights Common Platform (İHOP) regarding the mourning of the Hrant Dink murder. Doğanay had analysed coverage in Turkish national and local newspapers such as Hürriyet, Posta, Güneyde Imece or Sonsöz. (EÖ/VK)