ANKARA (Combined Sources) — Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament, was suspended from parliament for three sessions by the authorities for mentioning “genocide against minorities” in a speech during a debate on constitutional amendments.
Paylan is an MP for the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
“A period of 10 years of chaos started and during that period, between 1913-1923, we lost four peoples: Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and Jews. They were deported amidst large-scale massacres and genocides,” Paylan said during his speech on Saturday, January 14.
“Once we were 40 percent of the population, now we are as few as one in a thousand. Doubtless, something terrible happened to us. I call it genocide, you can call it whatever you want. Let’s name it together and move on,” he said.
“The Armenian people know what happened to them. I know what happened to my ancestors, to my grandfather. I am one of the ‘leftovers of the sword’ (kiliçartigi) as you call it, declared null and void, reduced to one in a thousand,” the Armenian MP said.
“Let’s draw lessons from the past and not develop calamities out of it. You name it and let’s confront it together,” he said, calling for a pluralist constitution, citing examples from Ottoman history.