[VIDEO] Turk at Dink commemoration apologizes for being late to share Turkish-Armenians’ grief

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Carnations and candles are seen as people commemorate the 10th death anniversary of Hrant Dink, former editor-in-chief of bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos, in front of the newspaper's office in Istanbul, Turkey on January 19, 2017. He was assassinated in Istanbul in 2007. AFP

A Turkish woman attending a commemoration for Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated in 2007, apologized for being late to share the grief of Dink’s family and Turkish-Armenians.

Underlining that she was attending a Dink commemoration for the first time, Fatma Yavuz, a head-scarved Turkish woman who described herself as a Hanafi Sunni Muslim, said she regrets realizing so late that Turks and Armenians share grief in common and for not attending Dink commemorations in the past.

It is an inner journey for me as well. I am ethnically Turkish, a Hanafi Sunni Muslim. I am rarely out of that environment. However, I really regret being so late to realize that we share grief in common. I regret not crying while attending this [Dink commemoration]. It is an internal conflict of mine,” she said during a video interview with the K24 website.

Yavuz further said it has taken years for many people in Turkey to realize that the life of every innocent individual is sacred.

“I apologize to my Armenian fellow citizens on behalf my of community. I will exert efforts to ensure all people [in Turkey] enjoy the same comfort that I do. I will be on their side if somebody tries to hurt them,” she added.

Thousands of people were present during the commemoration for Dink on Thursday in front of the Agos daily, where he was shot dead on Jan. 19, 2007.

During the ceremony, his wife Rakel Dink said the perpetrator of the murder was the state since the case has not yet been solved.

Obviously the perpetrator of this murder was the state with its all layers. The people do not need anything more to realize this, having seen all the disgraceful things that have unfolded in the last 10 years,” Rakel Dink said, adding that the state must cleanse itself of the rotten apples.

Dink, then editor-in-chief of the Agos weekly, was killed by a 17-year-old named Ogün Samast, who came from Trabzon province to kill him after a systematic smear campaign had been waged against Dink due to his distorted remarks on Turks and the incidents of 1915. The state is accused of negligence, not providing him security and even threatening him through undercover intelligence officials before his assassination.

The 1915 incidents refer to the killing of Anatolian Armenians during World War I. While Armenia claims the killings were tantamount to genocide, Turkey categorically rejects the claim and says the killings were a result of the circumstances of the war.

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