My beloved ’Chutag’

Hrant Dink's wife, Rakel Dink, gave a speech at this year's Hrant Dink commemoration. She called Hrant Dink 'My Violin' as she always did.

Rakel Dink's speech is below:

It has been 15 years since the treacherous bullets fired in your back took you away from us. Your voice still in our ears. Every time you talked about what happened to your people, they blamed you with treachery, and backstabbing… 

My Lord, You tell us to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”. * So, I keep praying.


It has been 15 years. 15 years of your absence. Those who were a child back then are now grown up, just like Nazım. Whatever problem we fail to solve, we land upon their shoulders. As if we are not the real owners of the problem, we drag young people to the frontline. 

Whereas, if we did not have such a bloody legacy, they could dream and build a different future together with their peers from across the world respecting all their differences. They have already inherited so many problems to deal with. I don’t know how many earthquakes await us. Let us unlock this history to set free the anguished souls. Truth is the solid rock where we will build upon our house. Truth is a solid, steady rock. 

Our children are getting squeezed between their own fears and dreams for the future and the painful legacy of their elders. They either harm themselves or others. Yet, if they come together and flow like water, no one can stand up against them. This world has witnessed way too many tyrants, too many cruelties. But every cloud has a silver lining. Sultans, emperors, kings, they were all toppled in a day. They shall be toppled again.

In our village, there were those who would wait by the fountain or the bridge with their weapons, racketeering. They were called bandits. Later, they hid their weapons behind some pieces of paper. They called themselves a state, a company. On these papers, they wrote down their own laws and rules. We did believe in them. I appeal to you our dearest children, do not believe in them. 

Do not believe in those who claim “ownership” over things that do not belong to anyone! Do not believe in those who claim “ownership” over things that belong to everyone!  

Every time people have voiced their criticism in these lands, they have blamed it on foreign powers. It’s true. What lies inside you is exterior to them. Every time you have burnt inside, they have always complained about the smoke and closed their windows.

During the Gezi resistance, young people – first and foremost –  strived to protect their own city, and then they grew in number to protect their friends facing persecution. They were also labelled as foreign powers, as terrorists, and so on and so forth. Our children’s eyes were scratched out, they were choked with gas and poisonous water. Our children were killed. Who was the one terrorising? Besides, it was quite extraordinary for so many young people to come together with such minimal shatter. 

And today, there is an ongoing prosecution conducted with the pieces of papers they have penned themselves. How on earth is that possible?

“You rulers, do you indeed speak justly?
    Do you judge people with equity?
    No, in your heart you devise injustice,
    and your hands mete out violence on the earth.” **


My beloved Chutag,

Every time you were asked about terror, you condemned it. And you responded by raising the issue of the Terror of Power. And you condemned it too. What you meant was the unlawful deeds of the state power. The world has seen many terrorising acts, and it continues to witness so…It was the case before you, and after you…The ones that secure a grip on power start practising persecution. Among them, who can blame whom? It is always the people that bear the brunt. On every January 19th, as we remember you, we also strive to recall and remind of other persecutions. Perhaps if we put together all these pieces of photos, if we look at this painful photo album altogether, we may also expose the real murderer…

Have you seen how they chased after Kutlu Adalı? Another journalist from Cyprus. We have pointed out to the true origins of the terrorising acts in these lands, are we proven wrong? 

The Holy Bible reads as follows: “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them"***

They have been keeping our friends in jail for years. Releasing one, incarcerating the other. Based on non-sensical grounds, justifications, lies…They no longer bother to make up a justification, they simply detain them by saying “so, it goes”. They have detained young lawyers who have been coming to the aid of each problem in the country, they have detained journalists, just as they jailed Osman and Bircan….They have detained every single politician uttering “I am a Kurd”. All they wish to see is speaking weapons, not humans. They continue to impose their own language. 

Regardless of all, let us not dash any hopes. 

The voice of indignation, rebellion, and objection that roared up right from here as we buried you has never kept silent, and it shall never remain silent. Workers, women, students, villagers are all resisting yet again. They strive to protect what belongs to everyone as well as what belongs to no one from those who claim “ownership” over them. One day, they will unite again and flow like water. 

Some are heartbroken. They keep asking “Where have you been when we were suffering?”. It was clearly not our intention to do so. We have done our best to stand by them and amplify their voices.  And we will continue to do so.

Your voice, still in our ears. You have our word. 

* Luke.6:27

** Psalm 58:1–2

*** Ephesians 5:11