Armenians (L to R) Markar Esayan, Garo Paylan, Ludmilla Büyüm, and Elmas Giragos will be participating in Turkey’s upcoming snap elections
ANKARA (A.W.)—Four Armenian candidates will participate in Turkey’s snap parliamentary elections due to take place on June 24. The complete and final list of candidates that will run was published early today in the T.C. Resmi Gazete—Turkey’s official national journal publishes legislation and official announcements.
Garo Paylan—a founding member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party of Turkey (HDP)—will be joined by fellow Armenian Ludmilla Büyüm on the HDP ticket running in Istanbul’s second district. Paylan, who has long been an activist on human rights and Kurdish and Armenian issues and currently represents the capital’s third district, will now be running in Diyarbakir.
Markar Esayan, an MP from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), will also run for reelection. Paylan, Essayan, and Selina Özuzun Doğan from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) became the first Armenian members to be elected to Turkey’s Parliament in decades back in 2015.
Elmas Giragos—a founding member of a İYİ (Good) party—will also be participating in the elections. Founded in October, İYİ is described as a nationalist, liberal conservative, secularist, anti-Erdoganist alternative for right-leaning voters disillusioned with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ruling AKP.
Originally slated for Nov. 3, 2019, President Erdogan announced in April that the vote was being brought forward. Presidential elections will be held to elect the President of Turkey in a two-round format, with the first round taking place on June 24 and a second round (if necessary) due to occur two weeks after on July 8. Six-hundred members will be elected to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (parliament) from candidate from eight different political parties.