"...that other children were different", SPEECH OF HOSROF DINK

Your Honor President and the Member of the Court

Hrant Dink, who was brutally murdered on January 19, is my brother. I am here to seek justice and to see that the perpetrators of this crime against humanity are found out.

My older brother Hrant, I and my younger brother Yervant were born in Malatya and shared the most sacred and fundamental right of the humankind the right to life as well as our hopes, our pains and our poverty.

Our father Sarkis and our mother Gulvart are divorced when we were children. The conditions forced us to grow in an orphanage. We had to begin learning the harsh conditions of living humanly on these land when we were children, in the orphanage.

We thought we were born as human beings. In time, against our will we were given many identities, we were labeled. We no longer belonged to the humankind, nor to the earth. We became part of a particular region, a particular people, a particular family and many more
different identities. Even during our childhood we were aware that other children were different. We saw and lived discrimination. We witnessed the crowds with intolerance to diversity.

We shared our lives with our wifes: Hrant with his Rakel, me with my Zabel and Yervant with his Haygan.

We grew bigger with our children; we transformed our pains to happiness, our poverty to wealth and our hopes to eternity. We fought together to ensure that our children, together with the children of the world, would not live through the pains and difficulties that we had to experience.

We did not forget to laugh with the people around us and share the joy with the world. On January 19, a bullet hit our happiness and our family, which we built with our efforts, tears, joy and hopes. On 19 January once again we understood that we were neither human nor an earthling.

My brother knew that our ancestors were born in these lands and harvested this land, turned grape into pectin, grape juice to wine, wheat to bread, earth to jug, copper to ewer, iron to pillow and that they dearly loved this land, they caressed it with their hands and smelled with their noses. I know he thought that all the people who lived and currently live share the same pain, and that all their happiness, sadness and hopes are linked to each other.

After the murder of my brother people expected that we would be afraid and leave this country. And for some thinking was not enough they did everything they could to make us escape. Some of the threats we received are in the case files. But they could not understand, they did not perceive something. Like all the people that were born on these soils, we were born and grew up here; we blended our sorrow and hopes with the people of this land. In short we were born here
and we will die here. Hrant, with all the opportunity he had, did not leave this country; he did not abandon his friends. This is what suits us. This trial, which will begin today, will be a milestone
for Turkey if the truth comes out.

In fact, this trial is one that the rule of law vs. the people who implement justice for their own interests and incomes. In other worlds it will be between the people who believe in the rule of law and the people who say "we are the law, we are the state".

We do not have anything to win or lose in this trial.

Neither the beloved we lost will come back, nor our lives will get better. In essence, you are the addressees of this case.

On one hand there is the judiciary; on the other an organization that see themselves superior to the state, have no respect to law and prove this through their acts and executions. In their dark world, they can decide who shall live or die; they are the judge and the executioner. Under these circumstances we, you and even little children, none of us is safe.

The main question waiting to be answered is: What will the justice do against this power that can take away the right to life of an Armenian citizen; that can kill a judge in his own seat?

There has been similar structures in every country that get its support from within state institutions.

But these countries were able to bring their country to lightness from the darkness by destroying these structures through their belief to justice and with brave judges. This trial is a chance to do the same.

We believe that there exist such brave judges in our country, too.

The people will give all the support they will need.

And a last word?

Every citizen of Turkey's right to life is sacred and under state protection.

And it will be Turkey that will win or lose at the end of this trial.

Hosrof Dink