Modern Turkey has not changed since Ottoman times

Modern Turkey has not changed since Ottoman times

Assassination of Hrant Dink, intimidation of AAC Patriarch of Constantinople Mesrob Mutafyan to an extent that deprived him from aptitude to continue his activity, and threatening of migrant workers from Armenia are all the links of one chain.

The Istanbul court marked the fifth anniversary of assassination of Hrant Dink, editor-in-chief of the Armenian-Turkish newspaper “Agos”, in a very peculiar manner: one of the organizers of assassination, Yasin Hayal is sentenced to life imprisonment for incitement to murder, 18 suspects are released to freedom, including Erhan Tuncel, who together with Hayal planned the assassination. The court also resolved that Dink’s murder did not result from conspiracy of a radical group...

PanARMENIAN.Net - The suspect, 17-year-old Ogun Samast was detained 32 hours after the murder on the basis of surrender. In the summer of 2011 the Istanbul Court sentenced him to 21 years of imprisonment. During the hearings Samast said he fell victim to the anti-Armenian propaganda of Turkish authorities. The Dink family lawyers believe that Samast was a pawn in the hands of the crime instigators. Meanwhile, such a judgment was expected, and hardly anyone in Turkey doubted that assassination would be disclosed to the end, i.e. to the identification of the instigator. Never were drawn into the process the gendarmes, who definitely were aware of the impending assassination -the authorities of Trabzon and Istanbul. Moreover, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the verdict against the perpetrator shall not be changed. “Life imprisonment is the extreme penalty possible because of absence of capital punishment,” he said.

The words of Ogun Samast about “anti-Armenian propaganda of authorities” have grounds. For the past years Turkish authorities, headed by Prime Minister Erdogan, have been accusing Armenia of all mortal sins, beginning with “occupation of Azerbaijani territories”, and ending with “terror against Turkish diplomats”. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) uses openly dishonest methods, trying to cover up through them their hatred for Christians, and for the Armenians in particular. Assassination of Hrant Dink, intimidation of AAC Patriarch of Constantinople, Mesrob Mutafyan to an extent that deprived him from aptitude to continue his activity, and threatening of migrant workers from Armenia are all the links of one chain. Current Coadjutor of the Constantinople Patriarch, archbishop Aram Ateshyan, frightened by the fate of Archbishop Mutafyan, acts as quiet as a lamb, delivering pro-government statements when it comes to the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. By and large, one can understand him, but not accept: after all, the Armenians of Istanbul are not Diaspora, they live at home and should not be afraid. But, perhaps, the fear of 1915 is inherited through bones, otherwise in no other way there can be explained either the behavior of Ateshyan or the behavior of a prominent member of the community, Petros Sirinoglu, who is more Turkish than the Turks themselves. Hrant Dink’s murder fits precisely in this atmosphere of fear and helplessness.

In addition, the court verdict also lowered the rating of Turkey in Europe. Thus, European Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey, Ria Oomen-Ruijten expressed his disappointment regarding the Istanbul court decision. “This decision demonstrates that the Turkish judicial system needs many reforms”, she said, also criticizing the fact that not a single process was applied to punish the officials involved in the Dink murder.

Istanbul court once again proved that Turkey is a country that brooks no dissent and indifferently, to say no more, treats her citizens. Let us not forget that the Armenians slaughtered during the Genocide from 1896 to 1923 were citizens of the Ottoman Empire. Since then, little has changed in the country that claims to be a regional leader, wishes to have “zero problems with neighbors” and doesn’t give up the hope of joining the European Union.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan
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