America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

02 July 2007

I am not Hrant Dink. I am not Armenian.

Demonstrators hold up placards which read: "We all are Hrant Dink, we all are Armenians" before the trial of the suspects charged with the killing of Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink starts at a Turkish court in Istanbul July 2, 2007. The banner in front reads: "We all are witnesses". The trial of the suspects charged with killing the editor began on Monday. (TURKEY)  REUTERS/Stringer
Is it unacceptable to mourn this tragic loss without jumping on some bandwagon?
If a journalist of Turkish etnicity were murdered, which Armenian would declare "We are all Turkish"? How many Turkish diplomats and journalists were struck down in cold blood in the past few decades? Who mourns and remembers them? Who is paying for those crimes?


Metin said...

No, no and no. Armenian-Turks have been serving their country for many years, and they would gladly return the favor (but without) proclaiming they were Armenians. How many of them show up at political rallies supporting political parties? I also don't think it's a good idea to equate terrorist organizations with the stereotypes they represent. Take a look at the Palestinians, the PLO, and Hamas for example. Or Al-Qaeda representing the Arabs, or the Muslims.

The time is ripe for pointing out the similarities between Turkish and Armenian Turks, not polarizing them.

I think it's time to move on!

Anonymous said...

Your comment was unnessesary and irrelevant. You're just anti Armenian ala holdwater.
Are you afraid that perhaps some of your countrymen are becoming enlightened?

Murat Altinbasak said...

Metin, what's your point?
Seriously, I don't get it.
My remarks don't represent polarity. Yes Hrant Dink was killed. It happens every day, every hour, in every country on earth.. YES! It's time to move on! This much I agree with.

Anonymous said...

yeah, this was just another mundane murder...nothing to see here.
Give me a break.
You "don't get it"...yes you do. You just don't have the moral decency to admit it.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Hey anonymous.. I could care less what anyone else thinks about this issue. Enlightened countrymen? Pfffft! Anti-Armenian because I choose not to participate in the "We are all Armenian" mantra? What percentage of Turks do you really believe buy into this thinking? Sympathy has a shelf life. It's time to rotate the inventory..

Anonymous said...

We agree, I don't believe your countrymen will attain enlightenment (for lack of a better word). Turkey will forever be stuck in 1922.
I guess Turks are happy with their military dictatorship

The world will move on without Turkey regardless.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I don't care if you don't want to participate in the "mantra", but why do you have to put it down? Was it just to take a left-handed swipe at Armenians?

You behavior is very peculiar.

Sam said...


Hrant Dink was murdered and no one with a moral compass would do anything but denounce the idiots who were responsible for this reprehenisble act.

But you're point is well taken about the absence of any Armenian sympathy or regret for the murder of countless Turkish diplomats and innocent civilians during the 70s and 80s.

So much for the enlightenment of which "Anonymous speaks." Not surprising given that the Armenian church has no doubt "enlightened" him/her from a very early age. Why would an Armenian show sympathy for those they've been bred to hate??

super hero said...

i totaly denounce that stupid asshole who thought he was doing a good thing while murdering hrant dink. and i protest the assasination because i dont want to see such assasinations in my country, and i support every effort to find and send to jail anyone who thinks he knows better than the laws.

i want peace in my country and from this point of view, the identity of the victim has only second degree importance, because my first priority is to try to stop the imbeciles who believe killing is a way to serve their nation.

but trying to create a showcase our of this murder is something else. everybody is talking about how racist the turks are, without caring to have a look at how armenians can be more racist. yes it is time to move on and it is time to stop this bullshit, but only if it applies to turkish hater armenians and likewise too.

Anonymous said...

dink is murdered by certain quarters who want more division and conflict in Turkey. don't care who shot him, do care who's behind it, because that's what matters..

Oz Kanka said...

Totally disagree with your thoughts on the matter Murat. The "We are all Armenians" posters etc are from parts of Turkish society who deplore the situation in Turkey which would convince a 17 year-old kid to commit murder in the name of "Turkey".

The slogans are in sympathy with the man, his family and the Armenian community in Turkey.

Who cares if the Armenians wouldn't or don't do the same thing. You can complain at their indifference but I find the cross-cultural sympathy involved in these marches and protests very positive.

And where did they get the idea for this kind of protest? Was it perhaps that French newspaper which published on it's front page the day after the September 11 attacks in 2001: "Today, we are all Americans". I can't remember too many people complaining about that.

Metin said...

All Turkish citizens do protest when one of their own is killed at the hands of another, whether the citizens in question are of different ethnic backgrounds or not. Why is this such a 'questionable' thing.

I am sure the 'Turkish' Armenians also hated the Armenian terrorists who murdered the Turkish diplomats.

The people you want to take isue are Armenians who are not Turkish citizens, or the descendants of the people who were kicked out of or left Turkey.

Besides, there are Armenians who've never been to Turkey or not from Turkey. But might have been living in the lands of the Ottoman federation. And some may not even have. They may have been Russian-Armenians for example.

Even amongst those Armenians, not all of them have 'terroristic' intentions. We should deal with specifics and not generalities.

Not all Turks are Pope killers (or wannabe killers.)

The same is true with the Kurdish Turks. If the PKK kills 'Turks,' some of whom are of Kurdish descent, do we then hate all the Kurds, and accuse them of not protesting.

Or is the double standard of religious differences being applied here? Are the Kurds 'the lesser evil' of the two? What about Alevis, Greeks, Jews, Cypriots, or any other Turkish-(insert your ethnicity) people?

By the way, among the 30,000 'Turks' killed at the hands of the PKK, how many of the murdered were Kurdish Turks, and how many in the PKK are Kurdish Turks. Anyone know?

Or is it a proven case of of only non-Turk Kurds killing only non-Kurd Turks?

Oz Kanka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Murat Altinbasak said...

Oz: I have no access to Blogger from work. I can't even approve or moderate comments. I can however send e-mails to the Yahoo group and post messages via e-mail. So if you'll kindly retract your "cowardly" and "absurd" remarks, I'll thank you in advance for being a good sport....

Metin said...

Do the Turks have to post about Armenians in order to get a rise out of people? Why can't we (talk about Paris Hilton like everyone else) all get along!

By the way, are we talking about the same French (who would've been citizens of Germany by now had it not been for the American 'interference')?

Murat, maybe it's time to switch from Blogger, or quit your job, whichever is easier. Have you ever discovered/found out who the hackers were on the American Turks Forum?

Anonymous said...

Murat Altınbaşak is quite right saying 'I am not Hrant Dink. I am not Armenian.' though I have to admit he is suprised me with this statement.
Sick of hearing this, it is an unnecessary provocation, most Turks, -if not all do not buy this anymore.

And some of you people say
'Hrant Dink was murdered and no one with a moral compass would do anything but denounce the idiots who were responsible for this reprehenisble act.'
and I say, yes do denounce the idiot, but ask further questios, who made this idiot to kill him and why?

' The "We are all Armenians" posters etc are from parts of Turkish society who deplore the situation in Turkey which would convince a 17 year-old kid to commit murder in the name of "Turkey".'
Is that a fact? How do you know? Do you know who convinced that boy to kill Dink?
Until there is more clarity about this murder, until all the questions are answered there should be nothing. We don't know WHO actually killed Dink. 17 year old boy trigerred the gun, but who made him to do this?

'The slogans are in sympathy with the man, his family and the Armenian community in Turkey.'
Millions of Turks will disagree with this statement.
However, this is the name of the game, this is probably why he was murdered in the first place. To bring a subject to the news and create 'symphaty' for this agenda. This will now be on the platform for years. What a way to use and abuse people.

'Who cares if the Armenians wouldn't or don't do the same thing.'
Most Turks would. Why shouldn't they? You offer humanity and understanding and you expect similar back. This never happens when it comes to Turks.

'You can complain at their indifference but I find the cross-cultural sympathy involved in these marches and protests very positive.'
This is more than indifference, it is a historical hatred on their part -why show sympathy to anyone who hates you undeservedly?
Protests are not positive, they are provocative and supporting Mr Dink and his ideas, which we should all know what they are, if we're talking about this subject.

'I am sure the 'Turkish' Armenians also hated the Armenian terrorists who murdered the Turkish diplomats.'
Really, how can you be sure about that? How do you know? How can you say things like that? And people will accept such statements as facts? You're just talking without thinking and without knowing.
What an assumption to make..

'Not all Turks are Pope killers (or wannabe killers.)' This is such an irresponsable, irrelevant and unfortunate statement. Why do you feel you need to bring this and relate it to a bigger picture? That's again exactly what is wanted for Turks. Negative spin.

And all the spins about who killed who and who did not protested what, is a stupid emperialist agenda. Sick of it.

'Do the Turks have to post about Armenians in order to get a rise out of people? Why can't we (talk about Paris Hilton like everyone else) all get along!'
This is the one I strongly agree, people like yourselves and blogs like these should only be discussing Paris Hilton etc. and 'get along', leave real and serious subjects out.

Metin said...

There are too many people masquerading as 'anonymous' in blogistan. maybe its time that they give themselves an identity so I don't accuse them of identity theft.

It shows a lack of respect not to bother signing up especially if you're going to write an editorial a mile long.

By the way, try wearing prescription glasses. It might help you see the bigger picture.

Metin said...

Murat, you might want to change your comments from moderation only to auto-approved (and I realize the negatives) unless you plan on approving comments more frequently.

Some people may have been commenting about the same things already, but if we don't see them posted, it just creates repetition of the same opinions.

Thank you.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Metin you're right. I only changed it because some anonymous dickhead was dropping F-bombs and saying extremely insulting things about Armenians and such. When I'm at work, the Blogger site is restricted to me, so there's a big delay in getting things posted. I'll switch moderation off now.

Anonymous said...

Why so stressed about anonymity? If I said my name is bngfjhy what difference does it make?
There is nothing here needs masquerading.
Just because you don't like the opinion you winge about the identity of the author.
You don't need a name attached to an opinion, just deal with the content. If you want, ignore it if you don't...
Do you think that putting 'Metin' under what you write makes any difference to me? Not really. I am interested in the content, not in you.
So there is never time and need to reveal names or make up names for me...
What respect are we talking about here? Do you respect other opinions? Hardly.
So let's not pretend.
Thanks for your advice about the prescription glasses, though my eyesight is ok actually. Maybe it's about time you pay a visit to your optician. Seems like you've been wearing the same glasses since the 80'ies.

Metin said...

Anonymous, which of the anonymous are you? I don't want to insult the wrong one!

What 'ethnicity' do you represent?

When did you learn to speak (and write) English? And were you alive during the 80s?

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

in general, anonymous people dont have anything to say, only comments.
otherwise they would have their own blogs.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hanso what are comments?
So you need to have your own blog to say something?

Anonymous said...

Oh! Metin please don't insult me I'll be soooo upset....
Do you think I will tell my life story to you when you announce that you are about to insult me or someonelse?
Try to oppose the opinions instead. That is if you can. You obviously struggle with that, difficult without insulting people that you don't even know isn't it?

Metin said...

Why is it that when questions involving the Turkish-Armenian (passe) issues are ever brought up from the dead, (they) seem to come out.

And (it) brings out the best in people.

Maybe the 'ultra-nationalists' are right in defining the path for Turks to take. When reasoning with the insane becomes unreasonable.

Hopefully (nut)!

Anonymous said...

Because Metin,
a)Turkish - Armenian issues are not passe, b)they are not brought up from the dead, they come out -because certain quarters want them to be on the agenda.
Irony is maybe not so appropriate here though, I agree that it does not bring out the best in people and this is the actual purpose of it.
Who and what is ultra-nationalist is debateable. If you think my wievs are, let's discuss. But maybe we first discuss what do you mean by ultra-nationalist? What's wrong with old fashion nationalist only? Why do we need the 'ultra'?.
Is this one of these new annoying spin words, created for sheeple to follow? i.e. words do not mean the actual meaning, just invented to meet the ends of some political rubbish, like 'pockets of resistance', 'wining hearts and minds', 'rouge states', 'axis of evil', 'we're all Hrant, we're all Armenian', 'Islamists', 'insurgence', 'weapons of mass disstruction', 'nany state', 'alcohol awareness', 'global warming', 'Iraqi government', 'freedom of speech', 'political correctness', 'equal opportunities'...
The list is not endless but very long and cringeworthy...
I hope you don't buy this kind of brain sedating descriptions..
So, what I'm trying to say before follow the the crowd and label people with words, just words only maybe you should rethink what actually you are accusing people of. Because this spin word 'ultra nationalist' is a new derogatory term for defending your nation and the land you belong to or you come from.
However, maybe we should embrace the word created by spin -to tarnish a set of behaviour, and instead use it, celebrate it in a positive way. I'll tell you that would annoy the spinners immensely.

And what is insane Metin? Explain if you can, so we know what we're talking about. Because we're just blabbering here -without actually communicating. This is another purpose of this spin; so our communication is blocked, and we're suppose to hate each other (in general, not necessarily you and me) -without actually knowing why. It's cunning, sneaky, manipulative, divisive and it is unfortunately working.
If you tell me that's fair and that's what you want -nothing can be done..

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Anonymous, I wrote these words in a column of mine regarding nationalism:

'Mankind must know by now that nationalists are always using symbols and tragic events to get their points across and chasing rainbows over their country as if the sun only rises and sets in their own nation. What they practice is like voodoo and creates people whose eyes are wide shut and whose perception is triggered by blindness and hate.'

Anonymous said...

So Hans-o, does that make your views more valuable, cause you have a column in some blog or in some form of media platform?
Because you write professionally for a media source or whatever, you consider yourself as a prominant source of information and propaganda?
Hardly. We all see what media are on about in general, 'chasing rainbows over their emperialist, capitalist, corrupt system and its warmongering.It actually has a name; spin...
I don't know why did you quote what you've quoted. Those 'tragic' words can be said for so many other things in general.
For example, for Armenians -they belong to a nation, don't they? They use tragic events and symbols..And for Ku klux Klan, all religions in general, emperialism and emperialists in general, capitalism and capitalists, faschists, communists, new age rubbish and yes, nationalists too.
They use symbols and tragic events to get their points across and chasing rainbows over their race, their nation, their economical systems, etc., and yes, -their country too, as if the sun only rises and sets in their own ways and yes, -for nationalists their nation too.
I'm not sure about the voodoo practice (bit of an exaggaration and spin on your part I'm afraid) but all the systems create people whose eyes are shut and whose perception is triggered by blindness and hate.
So what is your point? Why can't you be more specific? Who are you criticising and why? Describe..
Who do you call a nationalist? Who is full of hatred -in Turkey? Who said the sun only rises and sets in Turkey? Stop walloping in the middle ground and accuse whoever and whatever you're accusing openly and honestly.
You never know, I might even agree with you. Not that you care, as I can see instant hostility is a must, if you announce that you quite like being a Turk.
But please don't give me these rubbish accusations with popular wooly statements.
Tell me what is your idea of non-nationalism? Would you completely throw the idea of uniting people under nations and countries, or is it only the Turks who do not deserve to be happy with what makes them to be Turks? Why scared of Turks -who love their people, history, heritage and land? Is this kind of love, admiration and ownership only exclusive to US citizens? Or French, Italian, Spanish etc?
I don't know why I bother and I'm not sure that whether I should take some part-time tourist-residence persons' opinion about my counrty seriously.
However, I have read comments that you've made about Turkey and Turkish people in general over the time in this blog, and they are very unfair and hostile. I'm wondering what is your point in living in Turkey. So, therefore I'm curious about the reasons of your hostility..
Maybe it is yourself after all, full of hate.
I understand that it is difficult to live in somebody else's country. You either embrace it and think of it as a second home and nation of yours, or you get the hell out of there, if its as bad as you make it is.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Wanting to add to this discussion but I'm a lazy POS, so I am copying/pasting a short dialogue between Erkan and I, from over at his blog. And I do not mean to drag Erkan into an argument because I love the guy, but since the discussion has failed to migrate over to his blog, the words and ideas should populate this space I suppose:

[Murat]:It's not so cut and dried, not so black and white. You can't divide the country into "nationalist" and "not nationalist" camps.. and base your division on whether or not one declares themself a "Hrant Dink/Armenian sympathiser". Does the assertion that this issue has been blown way out of proportion, or that there is a double standard between the murder of Turks and non-Turks, correctly depict one as a nationalist? If you didn't know me better, I'd have to say 'no'.. but when did "nationalist" become such a dirty word? I didn't get the memo.. If one isn't a nationalist on some level, then what are they?

Posted by: Murat | July 3, 2007 04:37 PM

[Erkan]:It is certainly not black and white yet you would need to use a title just the negative slogan you criticize.

I assume you are under the pressure of Armenian diaspora propaganda there in the US but there is a different story going on in Turkey. I understand there is rather a naïve take of nationalism among the diaspora Turks but “nationalism” is not an innocent ideology at all and you don’t need to act in a binary oppositional mode. That is, if one is not nationalist that does not mean s/he hates the nationality s/he belongs to.

Dear Murat you still not get it maybe because of contextual reasons. I don’t see any overload here. Even as a metaphor, puking because of this supposed “overload” is not defensible. It makes you just reactionary.
An atmosphere of solidarity was quickly overwhelmed by “nationalist” reaction here. It is already discussed: to shout as “We are all Armenians” does not mean to despise Turkishness. Maybe there are some people among those who really use that slogan as a pretext for his/her hatred against Turks but I know most of the organizers or attendants to the Hrant Dink funeral and trial. They are honest and good Turkish citizens.

Finally, it is a great insult to us to imply that we, who promote the Dink case, do not care for those Turkish citizens killed.

Posted by: erkan | July 3, 2007 11:15 PM

[Murat]:Erkan says: "It is already discussed: to shout as “We are all Armenians” does not mean to despise Turkishness."

The "reverse" is also true.. To shout "I am not Armenian" does not mean I despise Armenians! To say "I am not Hrant Dink" does not mean I am a raving Turkish nationalist, either.
I do not strive to be "politically correct", if such a thing exists in Turkey. From where I stand, it all appears to be a big collective "woe is me" on the part of Armenians. Some of the Turks who participate in this campaign, might do so out of sympathy, shame, self-hate. Apparently it's quite easy to avoid "guilt by association" along with the above three afflictions. Just repeat the lines: "We are all Armenian. We are all Hrant Dink."
Chicken Soup For The Soul...
Lest we forget, I was the one who spent four hours of his life translating the "Water Finds It's Crack" video of Hrant Dink, into English. In the process, I fell in love with the man and his words. Hopefully it's pretty clear that my heart's in the right place, no matter what naive words I say.

Posted by: Murat | July 5, 2007 03:38 PM

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Your posts are oozing out hostility in general anyway, when regarding Turkey -I'm not going to show you where and when as you demand. I've actually start writing it, and then decided that you don't deserve to be answered. Because whilst you do not answer my questions, not even one of them and branding me being platitude or cliche or whatever, you come up with questions directed at me. I sense your purpose is not to communicate anyway..
Your media tactics do not work in all situations, and this is one of them.
I hope you deserve that residency you have. A little respect required to the place that you live, to its history, its heritage and its people...
And I also hope you realise that your earlier comments from your column about nationalism are irrelevant to Turkey and Turkish life in general.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the copy paste thing. It's interesting and I agree with your views most of the time.

Regarding nationalism, (of Erkan's view) I want to comment since it is published here. My intention is not to answer or argue with a person who is not participating. However, I feel it is important to acknowledge that Nationalism is not an ideology on its own, aspects of it can be used in an ideology that is seperate.

I agree again with the statement “We are all Armenians” does not mean to despise Turkishness.
But, it really is an over the top cringe-worthy reaction. It acually is quite embarracing; brown nose material. It was good that there was an initial reaction to his murder. But now this has become a different agenda, and not necessarily organized in good will anymore. Or should I say good will for the Turkish state.

I'm so curious Murat who and what is a raving Turkish nationalist?

'Chicken Soup For The Soul' is a brilliant and perfect analogy for the whole situation.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

You can find all my answers in my columns at TDN. Also of today.
Its not proper to use some else blog for a discussion with you.
I think you understand.

Anonymous said...

I agree Hans. I've been to your blog (I think I did) a while ago anyway. I will pay a visit sometime and unfortunately you'll hear from me there -maybe.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

ok anonymus..))
don't think that i am an elite kind of expat who knows everything better. it takes two to tango.
you are more then welcome

jack mehoffer said...

thank you jesus that Murat Altınbaşak is neither hrant dink nor armenian. with a name like Murat Altınbaşak, you can never be a hrant dink, as well as lance armstrong the best in your league, you will be forever stuck in your turkishness.