Karabet Garo Paylan

Ankara Prosecutor Seeks to Strip Paylan immunity

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ANKARA (PanARMENIAN.Net) — The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s office has prepared a summary of proceedings against eight deputies of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including Turkish-Armenian lawmaker 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,” Hurriyet Daily News reported on April 12.

The summary of proceedings said HDP deputies Osman Baydemir, Alican Önlü, Feleknas Uca, Sibel Yigitalp, Nadir Yıldırım, Dilek Öcalan, Mizgin Irgat, and 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, has been sent to the Justice Ministry, the agency said.

According to the Prosecutor’s office, Paylan, a member of the parliament from Istanbul, should be prosecuted for “humiliating” remarks he made in Canada in May 2017 “towards the Turkish nation, the Republic of Turkey and insulting the President,” Anadolu Agency reported.

Paylan has been vocal about the plight of Armenians in Turkey and the overall human rights situation in the country.

When in Canada in May 2017, the lawmaker held a series of meetings in Ottawa and Montreal with Members of Parliament and various current and former Canadian officials. He provided an overview of the current political climate in Turkey, the aftermath of the constitutional referendum and the ongoing uncertainty and concern regarding the rights and freedoms of the minorities living in Turkey. He stressed the importance of acknowledging history, specifically in regards to the Armenian Genocide, stating, “unpunished crimes lead to new crimes.”

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