Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fuat Deniz RIP

Just heard that Fuat Deniz was murdered last week.

I last saw Fuat just over two years ago, when I was over in Sweden. I can see him vividly now, laughing, teasing his brother-in-law, passing me a beer. There he is, around him his wife and young daughter and family...

He'd talked to me and the Dr about his research into the Assyrian genocide in the Ottoman Empire during World War One. (It's this that forms the backdrop of the forthcoming Neil Gaiman movie, The Road to En-Dor.) As Fuat said, the Turkish authorities still won't acknowledge the genocide even happened. Nor has it been officially recognised as happening by any other country.

Fuat's research was not only into the fates of Christian minorities in Turkey, but also their experiences as exiles and refugess elsewhere. He was a passionate, clever man with flashes of sudden humour. His murder seems to have been for political motives, and his murderer remains at large.

As his brother-in-law says:

"This is of course a major tragedy for the family, the Assyrian community and for everyone who believes in democracy and freedom of speech.

Tomorrow (19th December) at 18:00 (GMT+1) there will be demonstrations in eight Swedish cities in response to this tragedy. If you are near or can get to Orebro, Stockholm, Norrkoping, Linkoping, Uppsala, Lund, Jonkoping or Gothenburg, then please make your way there and show your support for the cause."

Details here (in Swedish).


Rob Stradling said...

Horrible. I was unaware of the man completely, I'm afraid.

What worries me now is how this event might be fuel for the recent "christianophobia" bullshit in British politics.

Anonymous said...

It's impossible to express how sorry I am. As activists of human rights in Turkey, we know that this is a perfectly organized state murder and we will not give up struggling until Fuat Deniz's, Hrant Dink's and others' murderers will be given to justice and this darkness that creates racist murderers will be destroyed. Rest in peace Fuat Deniz!