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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 January 2008, 15:12 GMT
Turks remember slain journalist
People lay flowers near a picture of Hrant Dink in Istanbul (19 January 2008)
Hrant Dink was one of Turkey's most prominent Armenian voices
Thousands of people have gathered in the Turkish city of Istanbul to commemorate the murder last year of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

Flowers were laid and candles lit in the street where Mr Dink was shot dead, while a huge picture of him covered part of the building where he worked.

Mr Dink campaigned for his country to confront the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I.

Observers say Mr Dink's stance made him a hate figure for Turkish nationalists.

Nineteen people, including two leaders of an ultra-nationalist group, are currently on trial for his murder at a court in Istanbul.

The trial, which began in July, is being held behind closed doors because the alleged gunman, Ogun Samast, is 17 years old.

Mr Dink's family has accused the authorities of collusion, and the court is also considering allegations of a cover-up.


At a short ceremony led by Mr Dink's close friends and family, crowds of people marked his murder at 1457 (1257 GMT) on 19 January 2007 with a moment of silence outside the offices of the Agos newspaper.

You are here for justice today - a scream for justice rises from your silence
Rakel Dink

Dozens of carnations and candles were laid at the spot where the 53-year-old died.

A huge photograph of Mr Dink covered the newspaper's building, while mourners in the street pinned smaller pictures to their chests.

"We are at the pavement where they tried to clean his blood with soap," Mr Dink's widow, Rakel, said in an emotional address from a window in the newspaper's office.

"You are here for justice today. A scream for justice rises from your silence."

The murder of Mr Dink triggered widespread anger and shock in Turkey, and caused massive crowds to take to the streets, chanting: "We are all Armenians, we are all Hrant Dinks."

Protesters in Istanbul with slogans "We are all Hrant Dink. We are all Armenians"
The murder triggered widespread anger and shock in Turkey

Mr Dink was a hate figure for extreme nationalists and had received death threats before he was killed.

He was well-known for writing articles about the mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in 1915.

Armenians have campaigned for the killings to be recognised internationally as genocide, as some countries have done.

Turkey admits that many Armenians were killed but it denies any genocide, saying the deaths happened during widespread fighting in World War I.

But the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul says his friends believe it was his conviction under the controversial Article 301 - for "insulting Turkishness" - that singled him out as a target.

Hrant Dink's wife addresses a crowd of supporters

Armenia welcomes 'genocide' vote
11 Oct 07 |  Americas
Q&A: Armenian 'genocide'
12 Oct 06 |  Europe
Obituary: Hrant Dink
19 Jan 07 |  Europe

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