Instanbul hosts conference to commemorate Hrant Dink

Instanbul hosts conference to commemorate Hrant Dink

PanARMENIAN.Net - A prominent sociologist gave a lecture on Friday, Jan 17, in Istanbul in memory of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink since the anniversary of his assassination is around the corner, Today's Zaman reports.

The seventh Hrant Dink Human Rights and Freedom of Expression Conference hosted Loic Wacquant at Boğaziçi University, and Dink's wife Rakel Dink presented him a plaque at the end of the event.

Dink emphasized in her short speech the importance of reaching the truth after she criticized people who kill or steal in the name of God.

In her opening speech, Boğaziçi University President Gülay Barbarosoğlu talked about the history of the lectures, as she said that they are ashamed because the forces behind the Hrant Dink murder have not been brought to light.

The prominent French sociologist, Wacquant from the University of California at Berkeley, lectured on urbanization, urban poverty and the evolution of ghettos.

Referring to sociologist Max Weber's statement that “The air of a city makes you free,” Wacquant said that a city is a place of potential freedom and cultural diversification.

Touching upon the resistance of people in cities, Wacquant talked about Gezi and said that it is the educated middle class residents that protested the demolishing of the park.

In his lecture, Wacquant mostly explained how ghettos developed and disappeared in the Western world. The most important of them was the Jewish ghetto in Venice. Describing the ghetto as a form of integration, the professor said that there are four elements of a ghetto: stigma, constraints, special confinement and institutional parallelism.

Another important ghetto was the black ghetto in Chicago in the first half of the 1900s according to him. However, after the 1950s, ghettos died in the U.S., as blacks protested the containment. Yet, as blacks moved to the cities, whites migrated to the suburbs, he said.

In the Turkish context, Wacquant talked about a transformation from “gecekondu” (a squatters house) to “varoş” (a neighborhood where nobody wants to live).

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