"We gathered here as the brothers and sisters of Arat, Delal and Sera. We came here to share the injustice we have experienced for years and to bear witness of it. We came here to remind once more the fact that this kind of organized political murder is being concealed ever since the murder of Sabahattin Ali".
More than 700 people gathered today in Beşiktaş (Istanbul) prior to the 12th hearing of the case regarding the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, then editor-in-chief of Armenian Agos newspaper. Among the crowd were families and friends of journalists that were killed in Turkey throughout the last couple of decades.
The Dink family was supported today by the presence of the daughter of writer Sabahattin Ali, the wife and daughter of prosecutor Doğan Öz, the daughter of journalist Abdi İpekçi, the son and daughter-in-law of writer Ümit Kaftanoğlu, the daughter of unionist Kemal Türkler, the son and daughter of journalist Uğur Mumcu, the son of musician Nesmi Çimen, the daughter of poet Metin Altıok, the sibling of archaeologist Yasemin Cebenoyan, the brother and sister of journalist Metin Göktepe, and the family of journalist Cihan Hayırsevener.
The writing read out aloud during the meeting was signed by the families of Cevat Yurdakul, Musa Anter, Behçet Aysan, Hasret Gültekin, Turan Dursun, Sevinç Özgüner and Cavit Orhan Tütengil.
This was the first joint announcement of the families after the release from prison of Mehmet Ali Ağca this January, triggerman in the murder of Abdi İpekçi in 1979.
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"We are interveners in this case as well"
Filiz Ali, daughter of murdered Sabahattin read out the joint press release at 10.00 am:
"Most of our cases have already been closed since they reached the statute of limitation. As far as the Dink case is concerned, it is still in the process of being concealed. The crimes have not yet fallen under their statute of limitation", Filiz Ali opened the speech.
"The state has still got the possibility to dissociate itself from the infiltrated and destructive focus in order to reveal the truth. Even with a murder as well concealed as this one, we still have the opportunity not to hand down this contempt of the state to the generations coming behind us, these affiliated crimes constituted after the murder".
"We are not here based on feelings of hatred, anger and revenge. We are here because of our responsibilities as citizens and because of our never-ending demand for justice. We are part of an ever growing family living in a country where people are getting killed constantly. We do not want the number of our family to increase any further. We hold all state institutions responsible for revealing the organizations behind the murders of our relatives. They will all remain guilty in our eyes until the truth will have been revealed. And they will convey the thought that they can easily commit this kind of crime any time", Ali pronounced.
"We came here to make our voices heard to the ones carrying the official capacity, addressing the ones in responsible positions. We are not addressing the people in despair who are sensitive about this issue. We came here to be together with Rakel Dink and our friends Arat, Delal and Sera. We are interveners in this trial as well and today we will follow up that the list of demands submitted by the lawyers will be taken into account by the court".
"We did not come here to have the pain and sorrow of our families depicted in the press but to pass on our demand for justice", Ali finished her speech.
After the announcement, the families together with the crowed walked to the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court where the hearing was going to be held. On the way they shouted slogans such as "The killer state will be taken to account", "Long live the people's brotherhood" and "We are all Hrant, we are all Armenian". The families entered the court house to attend the hearing.
Claim for Justice in Beşiktaş
Among the crowd that demanded justice for Hrant Dink and the other victims of political murder were the following journalists, intellectuals, authors and artists and activists:
Mustafa Sütlaş, Ümit Kıvanç, Ayşe Gül Altınay, Nadire Mater, İpek Çalışlar, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Tayfun Mater, Hayko Bağdat, Pınar Öğünç, Zeynep Tanbay, Merve Erol, Siren İdemen, Bülent Aydın, Gençay Gürsoy, Erol Kızılelma, Murat Çelikkan, Murat Utku, Çiğdem Mater, Özlem Dalkıran, Ragıp İncesağır, Nilgün Yurdalan, Doğan Tarkan, Ömer Madra, Ahmet İnsel, Muhsin Kızılkaya, Ayşe Berktay, Yıldız Önen, Nemciye Alpay, Ahmet Tulgar, Ufuk Uras, Banu Güven, Masis Kürkçügil, Hakan Tahmaz, Aydın Çubukçu, Alper Taş, Yalçın Ergündoğan, Yıldırım Türker, Socialist Feminist Collective, Lambdaistanbul, members of Nor Zartonk (BÇ/VK)