A couple of weeks after Hrant had been shot and killed in January 2007, his family and friends had decided on establishing the Hrant Dink Foundation.
This foundation left its signature on many important tasks in the direction of peace, living together, historical awareness and memory exercises since that day. Among them, there are great projects and activities like massive international symposiums, memory indexed knowledge generation in matters, which many universities don''t even dare to lay hands on, and, looking after the cultural heritage and the construction of domestic and foreign culture''s relations in the fields, to which many corporations didn''t turn a hand.
The International Hrant Dink Award is one of the most valuable activities which will carry Hrant and his ideals into the future…
This award is given to two different people or corporations or groups, of which one is from Turkey and the other from another country, which had been purified from racism and violence. These two entities are working for a free and fair world, taking personal risks for the sake of these ideals, breaking repetitions, using the language of peace, and giving inspiration and hope to the people to continue this struggle.
I have been presiding over the Award Committee for the past 6 years since its foundation.
The committee had started by standing against settled habits in Turkey like, ''giving support to victims'', ''making choices according to political closeness'', ''activating domestic politics waves'', and continues its way like this.
Its institutional objective had never changed: Raising the standards, honoring the people who are putting up a struggle for the civil rights on earth in Turkey, and carrying their struggle and voice to Turkey, and thus carrying Turkey''s struggle and voice to other lands via them…
Because of this, the committee is transmitting all the application files and search results that are suitable to award criteria (for example staying out of violence), to the international jury, which makes a decision during the voting. Other than Rakel Dink, who is the Foreman, all the jury members are being chosen once in two years from symbolical names in their fields. This year, Baskin Oran, Oya Baydar, Rakel Dink from Turkey, Gerard Libaridian, Kenneth Roth, Kumi Naidoo, Mary Kaldor and last year''s award winners Saturday Mothers and Nataša Kandic were among the ranks of jury. In the recent years, names like Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy Emma Bonino, Daniel Cohn Bendit, Costa Gavras, Timothy Garton Ash, Irene Khan, Judith Butler, Nilüer Göle, Murat Belge, Etyen Mahçupyan and Hasan Cemal had been jury members.
And these members had given the awards to; Alper Görmüs, Ahmet Altan, Turkey the Conscientious Refusal Movement, Ismail Besikçi, Saturday Mothers/ People from Turkey, Amira Hass from Israel, Baltasar Garzón from Spain, Lydia Cacho from Mexico, the International ''Memorial'' Community from Russia and Nataša Kandic from Serbia.
This award, which is being given on September 15, the birthday of Hrant Dink, had left behind its sixth year yesterday.
And this year, the awards had been given to Sebnem Korur Fincanci from Turkey and Angie Zelter from England.
Let''s say it according to the way it was introduced in the award ceremony:
Sebnem Korur Fincanci, because;
''She had made many studies in fields like Civil rights, peace works, prevention of torture, violence against women and forensic medicine. In her field, she had become a pioneer worldwide, without discriminating; she had served everywhere, where attempts were made against persons'' prides. Despite all the pressures and intimidations, she had never given up on speaking the truth and continuing the struggle. As a woman of science, she had dedicated herself to revealing the darkest years of Turkey''s late history and to preventing torture, which is the most painful issue. She is still making great efforts for a better Turkey.''
Angie Zelter, because:
''As a world citizen, she is acting with the responsibility of benefiting from International Law of War and preventing any possible war crime that could be committed by nations. She is defending the following idea; ''Law is one of the ethical essentials, deriving-consciences of our communities. As for us, we need to be busy with purifying our consciences in the light of new developments. We need to understand that law will evolve, and is not constant, and there is a role we play as the civil community. The responsibility of carrying this burden cannot be left to governments or people who are in law business alone.'' She is using the law and peaceful methods in order to establish a peaceful world.
May it give strength to them...
Also, respects to Hrant Dink…