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Garo Paylan~ Act Against Hate Speech in Turkey

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#1 onjig



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Posted 14 July 2015 - 02:04 AM


Garo Paylan addresses reporters on recent incidences of hate speech in Turkey (Source: CNN Turk)

ANKARA (Hurriyet Daily News)—Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul deputy Garo Paylan has urged prosecutors in Turkey to take action against recent incidences of hate speech that have gone unpunished, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

“Each hate speech crime going unpunished pushes people targeted by hate speech to the ‘dove’s skittishness’ and lays the ground for hate crimes,” Paylan said at a press conference at the Turkish parliament.

“Dove’s skittishness” is a phrase coined by slain Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in his last article published in the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Dink founded, Agos, expressing his feelings of being terrorized just days before he was killed on January 19, 2007.

“The recent discourses aiming to create hatred and enmity against the Armenian community in Kars and Ankara and LGBTI individuals in Ankara constitute a clear and imminent threat against the right to life,” Paylan said, also referring to recent attacks against Korean tourists in Istanbul mistaken by Turkish ultranationalists for Chinese nationals.

“It is obvious that ‘poisoned’ phrases and discourses have prepared the ground for murders in Turkey’s recent history,” Paylan said, listing a number of incidents including the killing of Father Andrea Santoro in February 2006, who was murdered while he prayed in his church in the Black Sea city of Trabzon, as well as the killings at the Zirve Publishing House in Malatya in April 2007, where three missionaries were tied up and tortured before having their throats slit.

Paylan also referred to four recent incidents, including statements made by Tolga Adiguzel, the head of a local branch of the far-right “Idealist Hearths”, which has close links with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Adiguzel indicated that his group would “hunt for Armenians” in Kars after world-renowned pianist Tigran Hamasyan performed a concert at the nearby ruins of Ani, on the border with Armenia.

“What should we do now? Should we start a hunt for Armenians in the streets of Kars?” Adiguzel asked reporters on June 24, three days after the Hamasyan concert.

Paylan said he would file a complaint against Adiguzel while also calling on prosecutors to take action against other incidences of hate speech.

On July 2, Adana Mayor Huseyin Sozlu targeted three new Armenian members of parliament, who were elected on June 7, by referring to the late Turkish-Armenian brothel owner Matild Manukyan.

“Manukyan’s nephew living in Adana must be happy. The children of their three aunts have also entered parliament from the AKP [Justice and Development Party], the CHP [Republican People’s Party] and the HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party].”

“No matter how proud they are now, it will never be enough,” Sozlu wrote on his Twitter account.

Along with Paylan (HDP), two other Turkish citizens of Armenian origin were elected to parliament in the June 7 general elections: Markar Esayan (AKP) and Selina Dogan (CHP).


#2 Yervant1


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Posted 22 December 2017 - 11:16 AM

Garo has the courage of a lion, but I'm scared for his safety!

News.am, Armenia

Dec 21 2017
Ruling party lawmaker tries to attack Armenian MP of Turkey at parliament
12:32, 21.12.2017








Speaking at parliament, Garo Paylan, Istanbul Armenian MP from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey, called on the minister of finance to investigate the offshore accounts of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family.

This call, however, was not to the liking of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy İlknur İnceöz, according to Demokrathaber website of Turkey. She said Paylan is the last person to give them lessons on ethics.

“You’re not even the last person in this parliament,” İnceöz added.

And when Paylan responded to her by saying, “Don’t be unethical!” she walked towards him in anger.

But the parliament session was recessed to calm down the MPs.




#3 Yervant1


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Posted 24 December 2017 - 11:26 AM

News.am, Armenia
Dec 23 2017
Armenian member of Turkish parliament: Current climate in Turkey is same as in 1915
10:34, 23.12.2017

Garo Paylan, Istanbul Armenian MP from the opposition and pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey, has reflected on the present-day situation in the country, and drawn respective parallels with 1915.

Paylan told Gazete Duvar (Wall Newspaper) online newspaper of Turkey that he feels like as if it were 1915.

“The current climate in Turkey is like the climate created by Talaat and Enver [Pashas, the architects of Armenian Genocide],” he said. “In those times, too, the democratic demands of the Armenian people, the Armenian MPs were the same as the demands of the Kurdish party today.

“At that time, the authorities responded to the Armenians’ [democratic] demands with genocide. One hundred years have passed, but it’s the same climate today in Turkey.

“If there is a little intelligence left among the [present-day Turkish] authorities, they must stop all this. Otherwise, the rug will be pulled from under their feet.”


#4 Yervant1


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Posted 26 December 2017 - 09:47 AM

Garo needs to listen to Sevan and leave that hellhole! I'm extremely worried for his life, there is no such thing as democracy in Turkey even if the Western countries see it as the role model for the Muslim world when in reality the Muslim world don't see Turkey as their role model.

Panorama, Armenia

Dec 25 2017
Nişanyan’s cautiousness over Paylan’s case realistic, turkologist says

The current Turkish authorities are capable of anything, since they showed that they can apply punitive measures and repression neglecting the opinion of the international community and even the positions of their allies, an Armenian turkologist said on Monday, referring to Turkish-Armenian intellectual Sevan Nişanyan’s call to Garo Paylan to immediately leave the country.

Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) warned on Wednesday that he has received intelligence about assassination plots targeting Turkish citizens living in Europe, among them Armenians, Alevis, Kurds, opposition politicians, intellectuals and reporters, who have left Turkey.

“This Turkey-based structure mobilized certain people to carry out these assassinations,” he warned.

In an interview with Panorama.am, Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the National Academy’s Institute of Oriental Studies, noted that having suffered at the hands of the Turkish authorities, Sevan Nişanyan gives such an advice to Paylan, clearing understanding who they are dealing with. “Thus, his cautiousness over Paylan’s case is quite realistic. The threat is real. Knowing that Paylan was Hrant Dink's junior colleague and continues to uphold his courageous principles, I find it hard to say whether he will follow Nişanyan’s advice. Anyways, we are dealing with a very courageous Armenian [political] figure, who could use a little bit of wariness,” he said.

Ruben Safrastyan highlighted the Turkish authorities will target any figure, who dares to voice about any faulty phenomenon in that country.

Turkish-Armenian intellectual, travel writer, entrepreneur, and researcher Sevan Nişanyan, who escaped prison and fled Turkey on July 14, 2017, has commented on Paylan’s assassination warnings, adding they deserve a special attention and study.

“If I were in Garo’s place, I would immediately leave the country,” he wrote on Twitter, adding by releasing such information Paylan also puts himself at risk.




#5 Yervant1


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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:40 AM

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 12 2018
Garo Paylan testifies at Ankara Prosecutor’s Office over assassination warnings

Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish parliament representing the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP), has testified at the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in connection with his statement over assassination plots, Ermenihaber reported.

Speaking at a press meeting in the Turkish parliament on December 20, Paylan said he had received intelligence about assassination plots targeting Turkish intellectuals and public figures living in Europe, among them Armenians who have left Turkey.

“There is Hrant Dink’s case in Turkey. He was my friend. He was constantly under target at that time. I wanted him to leave Turkey but he didn’t and was killed,” Paylan told reporters after leaving the prosecutor’s office.

“At present, some people, including Can Dündar (the former editor-in-chief of the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet), as well as several HDP figures are also targeted by press. We received intelligence from Germany about plans of assassination against those people. I made a statement after receiving the information,” he said.


#6 Yervant1


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Posted 24 January 2018 - 09:00 AM

The Armenian Weekly
Jan 23 2018
NGO Suggests Garo Paylan’s Nomination for Nobel Peace Prize

By Weekly Staff on January 23, 2018


MOSCOW—The Hamshenuhi International Women’s Association recently announced that it is calling for individuals and organizations to officially nominate Garo Paylan for a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. The organization has also submitted a letter to the Nobel Prize Committee, suggesting Paylan’s nomination as an individual who has “devoted whole his life to protection of the rights of Armenians and other indigenous populations in the region.”


Garo Paylan at the HDP Parliamentary office in Ankara (Photo: Rupen Janbazian)

“He is one of the few who has assumed the responsibility to protect humanitarian rights, the rights of indigenous people, religious and national minorities,” part of the association’s statement reads, adding that Paylan’s efforts come despite persistent threats and pressures by Turkish nationalists and extremist forces backed by Turkish authorities.

Founded in 2012, the Hamshenuhi International Women’s Association is a registered NGO, which works to foster the international cooperation of the Hamshen-Armenians and Armenian women.

Paylan is a founding member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party of Turkey (HDP) and is a deputy representing the third district in Istanbul. Paylan is also a member of Turkey’s Armenian community and has long been an activist on human rights, Kurdish, and Armenian issues.

It is important to note that the association itself cannot nominate an individual or organization for the prize. Only those who are qualified to nominate can submit a nomination. These include members of national assemblies and national governments and current heads of states; members of The International Court of Justice in The Hague and The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague; members of Institut de Droit International; university professors, professors emeriti, and associate professors of history, social sciences, law, philosophy, theology, and religion; university rectors and university directors; directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes; persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; members of the main board of directors or its equivalent for organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; current and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; and former advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The Norwegian Nobel Committee is also responsible for selecting the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

Prior to joining the parliament, Paylan served on the central committee of HDP and also served on the management of Armenian schools in Istanbul. He has long promoted bilingual education and minority rights in Turkey and has been actively engaged in raising awareness on discrimination towards minorities, the rights of the Armenian community in Turkey, Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, and especially on the Hrant Dink murder case. Mr. Paylan is from a family originally from Malatya and was elected to the Turkish parliament in 2015.

Three weeks after his first election into Turkey’s Parliament on the HDP list, Paylan spoke to the Armenian Weekly about his path to parliament, and the challenges of being an Armenian in Turkey’s political scene.



#7 Yervant1


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Posted 02 February 2018 - 11:46 AM

Armenpress News Agency, Armenia
January 31, 2018 Wednesday

Garo Paylan, Emmanuel Macron discuss human rights in Turkey

YEREVAN, JANUARY 31, ARMENPRESS. Ethnic Armenian lawmaker of the
Turkish Parliament Garo Paylan on January 30 discussed the issue of
human rights in Turkey with French President Emmanuel Macron, the
European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy(EAFJD) reports.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the annual gala dinner
organized by the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations of

Macron and Paylan discussed the operations of the Turkish armed forces
in Syria’s Afrin, calling on to show vigilance and expressing concern
over the recent developments.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo awarded Garo Paylan with a special medal (La
médaille Grand Vermeil) for his contribution in fight for democracy
and human rights.

French President Emmanuel Macron attended the annual gala dinner of
the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France. The gala
dinner was also attended by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Lyon Mayor
Georges Képénékian, Members of Parliament, ethnic Armenian lawmaker
Patrick Devedjian, as well as the representatives of the Armenian and
Jewish communities of France. Ethnic Armenian lawmaker of the Turkish
Parliament Garo Paylan was an honorary guest of the gala dinner.
During his remarks President Macron touched upon a number of issues
concerning the Armenian community, including the Armenian Genocide and
the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

#8 Yervant1


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Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:32 AM

News.am, Armenia
March 9 2018
Garo Paylan says Turkish ruling party MPs attacked him
09:45, 09.03.2018

Member of the Turkish parliament of Armenian origin Garo Paylan said he was attacked by the members of the ruling Justice and Development party.

“Yesterday in the parliament AKP deputies tried to lynch us. They demonstrate their barbarism everywhere. We will resist the fascists everywhere and, of course, will win,” tweeted Paylan, MP from People’s Democratic Party.

Kurdish MPs in the parliament accused the Turkish authorities of ethnic cleansing in Afrin which provoked anger of the president Erdogan’s supporters and they attacked Kurdish deputies.  


#9 Yervant1


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Posted 13 April 2018 - 09:36 AM

Democracy and Turkey can't mix, one or the other!

 Public Radio of Armenia

April 12 2018
Ankara Prosecutor’s Office seeks to strip Armenian lawmaker of immunity

The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s office has prepared a summary of proceedings against eight deputies of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), inlcuding ethnic Armenia Garo Paylan on the grounds of “insulting the Turkish nation, the Turkish state, its army and police forces,” “acting against the law on political parties,” “making terror propaganda,” and “insulting the president,” the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The summary of proceedings said HDP deputies Osman Baydemir, Alican Önlü, Feleknas Uca, Sibel Yiğitalp, Nadir Yıldırım, Dilek Öcalan, Mizgin Irgat, and Garo Paylan had “praised” the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, in their speeches and publicly expressed condolences to the killed PKK militants, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 10.

The summary of proceedings, asking for the removal of the parliamentary immunities of the eight deputies, have been sent to the Justice Ministry, the agency said.

In May 2016, the Turkish Parliament approved a law stripping its members of immunity from prosecution, which allowed prosecutors to pursue members of parliament who face investigation.

According to the HDP’s website, nine MPs in the party, including former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, are currently behind bars, alongside many former deputies and mayors.

Meanwhile, HDP lawmaker Burcu Çelik Özkan has been sentenced by an appeals court to seven years, three months and 10 days in jail on charges of “threatening public officials,” “making terror propaganda,” and “committing a crime for an armed terrorist organization,” stiffening her previous sentence of six years in jail.

The appeals court in the eastern province of Erzurum on April 9 rescinded the sentence decided on Oct. 6, 2017 by the local court in the eastern province of Muş, where Özkan was elected as a deputy, on charges of “helping an armed terrorist organization despite not being a member.”

She was also convicted by the Erzurum court for “threatening village guards,” who are deemed public officials, and given five years in prison. The verdict also included a sentence of one year and 10 days in jail for “committing a crime for a terrorist organization despite not being a member” and another sentence of one year and three months in jail for “making terror propaganda.”

Özkan was arrested on April 19, 2017 over a speech she gave in Muş: “You will leave this land. We know very well how to direct those Kalashnikovs you point at us,” she said in the speech on June 8, 2015.

In the indictment, she was also accused of attending the funeral ceremonies of two members of the PKK and giving speeches in favor of the organization.




#10 Yervant1


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Posted Yesterday, 08:32 AM

News.am, Armenia
May 20 2018
Garo Paylan: Turkish president has to stand trial
00:18, 20.05.2018

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan may face trial after the presidential and parliamentary election set for June 24, Turkish MP of Armenian origin Garo Paylan said.

Paylan said there was too much pressure during Erdogan’s tenure, and it is time for him to retire, Cumhuriyet reported.

“We are speaking about a person whose political life is over. We demand a fair trial for everything that he did,” the MP said.



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