09/18/2007, 00.00
TURKEY
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Turkish singer hires the assassins of Santoro and Dink

The song, preformed by a popular Turkish folk singer, inspired an even more explicit video : at the line “Stop ringing the bells” the face of the murdered priest appears, while the dead body of Dink appears while singer says the verse "if a person betrays the country, he is finished off."

Istanbul (AsiaNews) – “Stop ringing the bells” says the song and the video shows the face of don Andrea Santoro, (the priest killed in February 2005); further on the dead body of Hrant Dink, the journalist of Armenian origins killed at the beginning of the year, appears while singer says the verse "if a person betrays the country, he is finished off.".

 

The video which was prepared for folk singer Ismail Turut's last song named "Don't make any plans" is opening old wounds and stirring controversy. Written by Ozan Arif, a poet with a large ultranationalist following, the song and video appeared on YouTube only to be immediately withdrawn.  Beyond the images, which the singer claims to have had no prior knowledge, the lyrics laude the authors of the two murders, hiding their names in a clever play on words.  For the most part the references are all too clear: in the case of don Santoro’s murder, after having said to stop ringing the bells, the text adds: “people do not want to put up with this, not in the region of the black Sea”, the same region where the Italian priest was killed.

 

There were immediate reactions: Dink’s family say they will bring both the singer and writer to court, as does the Turkish section of Human Rights Association (IHD). Controversy is on the rise regarding the inaction of the judicial system, regarding the entire episode of the assassinated Armenian journalist.  “If it hadn’t of been Dink – says  Yucel Sayman, one time president of Istanbul’s lawyers association – the district attorney would have already made his move”.

 

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