Armenian Apostolic Church Bishop of Gougark Sebuh Çulciyan visited Istanbul in the run-up to the election for co-patriarchate in coming May. Çulciyan said, "The way which was opened by Hrant Dink is a bridge for communication between our two countries. We should support this approach and strengthen it".
Çuliyan, who came to Turkey for talks with the Armenian community, mentioned that as a religious person he did not want to meddle with politics at all. "I want to set up a warm and fruitful dialogue. I see that there is no trust between upper level politicians of Turkey and Armenia, but there is trust between the people. People of both countries come together frequently anyways", Çulciyan said.
"They killed Hrant, but could they silence him?"
Çulciyan conveyed the prevailing opinion in Armenia that the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was related to the deep state.
"Who can deceive anybody? Let's wish that Hrant Dink was the last loss on behalf of democracy and an open society. Nobody can silence his message because others continue spreading his message".
Hrant's dream came true
Çulciyan, who did not have the opportunity to visit journalist Dink's grave before, considered it important that "Hrant Dink's dream has come true".
During the journalist's visit to Armenia in 1999, Çulciyan took him to a summer camp built for children at Vanadzor in the county of Lori. Dink said to him "This was what I dreamt of. You have made my dream come true".
Both men grew up in the same neighbourhood of Malatya
Up to 200 children enjoy education and entertainment in the summer camp every season. Dink and Çulciyan shared more than the camp project: they both grew up in the same neighbourhood of the south-eastern city of Malatya.
"Let the children love each other. Tomorrow's youth will have a better understanding of brotherhood. It was Hrant's and my dream to invite 50 children from Turkey to the camp and make 50 Armenian children meet other children in Istanbul".
Çulciyan pointed out that there are problems not having been dealt with or overcome for centuries. He said that the Armenian governments did not really understand the Armenians' problems in Turkey before: "They did not understand the lives we are leading here. They thought that everything would be finished once the was closed. Meanwhile, Armenian media can convey a more open approach".
Replying to a question related to a protocol that is pending to be signed between the two countries Çulciayan said, "It seems as if both countries do not believe what they have achieved till the present. The problem will be solved more easily if the governments make a move for the people". (EÖ/VK)