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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 January 2007, 04:33 GMT
Armenian anger at Turkish murder
Protest in Istanbul
Hrant Dink's murder touched off a large protest in Istanbul
The Armenian government has condemned the murder in Istanbul of a prominent Turkish journalist of Armenian descent.

The speaker of Armenia's parliament said the murder showed that Turkey should not even dream about joining the European Union.

Hrant Dink's murder on Friday sparked a protest by thousands of people where he was shot near his newspaper's offices.

He had written extensively about the massacre of Armenians during the final days of the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Armenian President Robert Kocharian said: "The killing of this well-known Armenian journalist in Turkey raises numerous questions and deserves the strongest condemnation.

"We hope that the Turkish authorities will do everything possible to find and punish the culprit strictly in accordance with the law".

The speaker of Armenia's parliament, Tigran Torosyan went even further.

Policeman guards scene where Hrant Dink was murdered
Following the murder, Turkey should not even dream about joining the European Union
Tigran Torosyan, speaker of Armenia's parliament

"Following the murder, Turkey should not even dream about joining the European Union," the Armenian news agency Arminfo quoted him as saying.

Journalists and politicians in Turkey have expressed outrage at the killing, which many described as a political assassination, while the US, EU, France, and several human rights groups also voiced shock and condemnation.

Police said Hrant Dink was shot twice. Late on Friday, Turkish media quoted Istanbul's governor as saying three people were in custody over the killing.

Hrant Dink was found guilty in October 2005 of insulting Turkish identity after he wrote an article which addressed the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians nine decades ago.

Dink was one of Turkey's most prominent Armenian voices and despite threats on his life, he refused to stay silent.

The killings of hundreds of thousands of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks is a sensitive subject in both Armenia and Turkey.

Many Armenians have campaigned for the killings to be recognised internationally as genocide.

HAVE YOUR SAY
This represents one more nail in the coffin of Turkey's EU membership
Mike Spurgeon, Canada

Turkey denies any genocide, saying the deaths were a part of World War I.

The two countries still have no official relations since Armenia gained independence after the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
CCTV images of Hrant Dink murder suspect



SEE ALSO
Obituary: Hrant Dink
19 Jan 07 |  Europe
Q&A: Armenian 'genocide'
12 Oct 06 |  Europe

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