ISTANBUL (Armenpress) — Garo Paylan, a member of parliament in Turkey of Armenian extraction has filed a formal complaint for anti-Armenian chants and slogans in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he announced on Twitter. Paylan filed his lawsuit based on Article 216 (inciting people to hatred or enmity) and Article 125 (insulting) of the Turkish criminal code. Paylan noted that during an assembly with Erdogan’s participation, a group of people shouted “Armenian scum” while the president and other officials kept silent and did not interfere. “These words apart from being insulting for Armenians having lived on this soil for centuries and representing other ethnicity and religion, at the same time they contain hate speech according to the European Convention on Human Rights, which is embraced by Turkey. Unfortunately, this is not the first incident against Armenians. Erdogan’s silence and his not rebuking those calls make similar calls more powerful making Armenians an easy target,” Paylan wrote in the complaint submitted to the court.
Erdogan, Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu and Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs Veysel Eroglu are presented as witnesses of the incident.
A day before, Paylan posted footage, showing a crowd cursing Armenians during an Erdogan speech. The audience was shouting “Armenian scum,” while Erdogan was smiling. “The crowd which gathered in Trabzon for President Erdogan’s speech is cursing Armenians. No one interfered,” Paylan wrote.
Paylan is a member of the Kurdish-majority Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).