The Agos newspaper office had from the very first day of its establishment, represented a site of transformation and hope. The mission of the Agos includes the goals of rendering the problems of minorities and Armenians so that they are visible and awareness is raised; informing society about the culture of Armenians and minorities; shedding light on the past, and contributing to the democratisation of Turkey. Agos was a turning point for the Armenians and minorities of Turkey as it was the first newspaper to be published in Turkish and English during the Turkish Republican era.

Hrant Dink was assassinated in front of the Sebat Apartment Building on January 19th, 2007. The assassination evoked people’s conscience and sparked mass protests. On January 19th, the Sebat Apartment Building became a crime scene. At the same time it also began to turn into a site of conscience. Over the course of the following years due to the memory and the truth that the Sebat Apartment Building possesses, the venue has turned into a site of memory. In addition, the site has gained an important meaning in the conscience and collective memory of society since 2007.

It is a site of conscience and memory as the venue possesses a memory, a truth, and a spirit. New dimensions are being added to the old office which housed the Agos and Hrant Dink Foundation in order to turn it into a site of memory, dialogue, debate, and, also, a site of hope. As Simon Wiesenthal once said, “Hope lives when people remember.” Sites of memory and conscience, first and foremost, enable people to remember and provide an opportunity to discover the truth.They also allow access to information that people have been deprived of, encourage acknowledgment of pain, foster mutual understanding and dialogue with their robust education and audience programs, and promote dealing with the past, handling encounters with politics of oblivion, and combating social amnesia.

Creating such a site demands meticulous work. We have defined certain activities which will enable us to take the proper steps in order to design our site in a desired way. Within the scope of this preliminary stage, we have been conducting the activities outlined below:

  • Visiting museums, memorials, and sites of memory in Europe, South America, USA, and South Africa and meeting with the directors, education program coordinators, communication officers, architects, curators, and related experts in order to benefit from their expertise and recommendations.
  • Organizing dialogue meetings with the participation of experts from a variety of groups including historians, curators, artists, members from the Armenian community and other minorities, individuals who contributed to the work of Agos, and museum experts at the Sebat Apartment Building with the aim of collecting or gathering their recommendations while also listening to and taking into account their expectations.
  • Organizing additional meetings with experts from abroad in order to collect their recommendations and benefit from their expertise.
  • Participating in international conferences, trainings, and workshops about sites of memory, dealing with the past, and memorialization projects.
  • Organizing panels with the aim of raising awareness on the role that sites of memory and conscience, museums, and memorials play in dealing with the past, historical dialogue, and mutual understanding while also sharing our experience with the society at large and promoting the best practices of other countries. The following day ,we always or tend to organize a workshop with the participation of international and national experts at the Sebat Apartment Building in order to collect their recommendations and benefit from their insights about our site.