An Armenian-Turkish journalist who stood trial for speaking out about the mass killings of Armenians by Turks at the beginning of the 20th century was shot to death Friday outside his newspaper’s offices, according to news reports.
Hrant Dink, a 53-year-old Turkish citizen of Armenian descent, had received threats from nationalists, who viewed him as a traitor to Turkey.
And editor of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos, Dink was one of Turkey’s most prominent Armenian voices.
In an earlier interview with the Associated Press, Dink cried as he talked about some of his fellow countrymen’s hatred for him, saying he could not stay in a country where he was unwanted.
CNN-Turk television reported that Dink was shot three times. The identity and motivation of the shooter was unknown.
Dink stood trial numerous times for his statements; he was most recently convicted in October of ?insulting Turkishness? and received a six-month suspended sentence. The case became one of several prominent prosecutions over speech that prompted questions about Turkey’s dedication to democracy from officials of the European Union, which Turkey is trying to join.
In December, a Turkish prosecutor opened a new case against Dink, saying he would face charges of attempting to influence the judiciary, punishable by 4? years in prison, for saying that he would leave the country if the case against him was not dropped.