(The homepage of Google News several hours ago)

At this point, almost everybody knows that Turkey’s outspoken journalist and the most famous Armenian of that country was shot to death several hours ago.

I was so shocked the entire day that could not prepare an entry for the blog. It has been several hours, and I am finally able to share some thoughts and information.

Hrant Dink kept his promise of leaving Turkey. When he was convicted in “insulting Turkishness” (saying that he was an Armenian, not a Turk), Dink said he would leave the country if he were not cleared off the charge.

The shots of a nationalist Turk killed Dink today.

As the news is the main story of the international media, there are not, perhaps, new details of the murder that can be posted at this time, and the point of this post is to actually commemorate and provided underreported information.

I turned on my work computer this morning, and as I opened the Internet homepage (www.yahoo.com), a headline struck my heart: Turkish-Armenian Journalist Shot Dead in Istanbul.

I breathlessly opened the link and found out that Hrant Dink had been assassinated. Although not having met Dink in person, I was in such a pain and anger as though as I had just lost a close friend.

I went ahead to check my e-mail where I knew I would find many messages of anger and mourning by Dink’s friends and colleagues received through a private but publicly known group discussion.

Fatma Gocek, a Turkish professor in America, had written,

it is in tears and with great remorse that i try to write you this e-mail,
the worst one i have written in my entire life, to share with you the
news of the assassination of a great friend, hrant dink, the editor of the
agos newspaper and a champion of human rights in turkey.

(The homepage of The New York Times several hours ago)
A good friend, Amberin Zaman, a prominent Turkey-based international reporter, informed that she had

just returned from Agos where hundreds of Turks are keeping vigil, lighting candles and laying down red carnations around his picture, singing Sari Gul, crying, chanting “We are all Hrant Dink, we are all Armenians” Hepimiz Hrantiz, Hepimiz Ermeniyiz.”followed by Katil Devlet, Killer State. Inside Agos the mood was predictably sombre. A clutch of young people were holding up copies of todays’ Agos from the balcony overlooking the crowd.

I am amazed that Erdogan was shameless enough to call Hrant’s slaying “a bullet aimed at free speech.” Its the laws his government passed that have created the atmosphere in which Hrant became a target. And of course Cemil Cicek, the Justice Minister immediately hints at some kind of plot revolving aroud Armenian efforts to get US congressional recogition of the genocide. Well the excuse for not passing the resolution–that it would make it harder for Turkey to reach out to the Armenians–no longer holds.

Dikran Abrahamian, a close friend from Canada, wrote,

Personal feelings and emotions aside, Hrant Dink is the latest victim of the Armenian Genocide. The atmosphere of hatred, intolerance and deplorable stance of the Turkish establishment regarding Human Rights and Freedom of Speech paved the way to such a tragic end.

Dikran’s spirit was seen in an Independent article by Robert Fisk, where the latter wrote, “Hrant Dink became the 1,500,001st victim of the Armenian genocide yesterday.”

Videos from Hrant Dink’s commemoration and his murder’s condemnation are available at http://ihavideo.net/ (I learned about this link from a Yahoo’s Armenia group). Photographs are available at http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/search?p=dink&c=news_photos.