20 հունվար, 2014 14:45

Kemalists Propose Naming a Street after Hrant Dink

Yesterday, January 19 was the 7th anniversary of Hrant Dink's assassination. Dink was a Turkish-Armenian journalist and the editor-in-chief of Agos newspaper who spoke publicly about the Armenian Genocide and Armenia-Turkey relations.

While people took to the streets to commemorate Dink’s assassination in Istanbul, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a Member of Parliament from the People’s Republican Party (CHP) submitted a proposal to the Turkish Grand Assembly to rename a street in honor of Hrant Dink.

According to Agos newspaper, the MP from the Kemalist party suggested renaming one of the boulevards of Istanbul’s Shishli neighborhood after Hrant Dink, a man who is perceived as a symbol of public solidarity and cultural diversity.

Tanrıkulu, a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, stated that Dink had played a crucial role in Turkey’s history and his memory should be immortalized by renaming a street in his honor.  In 2010, a group called Art for Peace requested that Sisili Mayor Mustafa Sarigul officially rename Ergenekon Street, which is located near the office of Agos, to Hrant Dink. Because it was not possible to hold a meeting with the mayor before January 19, the group went ahead and independently and unofficially changed the name.

In February 2010, Istanbul’s City Council received the official proposal to rename one of Shishli’s boulevards after Hrant Dink. The City Council, however, voted against it, explaining that renaming a street, square or park after the assassinated journalist would harm cultural values, cause confusion with addresses, become a source of material damage, and could potentially become a security issue.