September 6, 2012 - 15:01 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Human rights activists spearheaded by the Nor Zartonk Initiative gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square to protest the release of Kıvanç Ağaoğlu pending trial for the killing of Armenian-born soldier Sevag Balıkçı with only days left before the deliverance of the final verdict in the Martial Court of the Diyarbakır Second Air Force Command on Sept 7, Bianet reports.
The demonstrators commemorated Balıkçı who died after private Kıvanç Ağaoğlu fired his rifle while they were both performing their mandatory military service on April 24, 2011.
Sevag's family also attended the demonstration along with anti-war and human rights activists.
The protesters chanted slogans in Turkish, Armenian and Kurdish throughout the entire march. "We are all Sevag, we are all Armenians," "The murderous state will be called to account," "Do not enlist in the military, do no spill a brother's blood," "Sevag, we will not forget you," "Never to kill or die, never to become anyone's soldier," "Long live the brotherhood of peoples," the demonstrators shouted.
The attendants also highlighted the fact that Balıkçı's death coincided with the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and rebuffed claims that the killing was accidental.
The Nor Zartok Initiative then read a press statement before the Galatasaray High School, adding that they were also going to make another press declaration before the courtroom on Sept 7:
"It was said that Balıkçı had died accidentally due to a bullet fired from Ağaoğlu's weapon while he was performing his mandatory military service on April 24, 2011, the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Being an Armenian once more proved to be costly, and racism snatched him away from us."