Turkish-Armenian MP Garo Paylan

Paylan Files Criminal Complaint against Politician Issuing Threats

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ISTANBUL (Armenpress) — Armenian HDP deputy Garo Paylan of the Turkish parliament filed a criminal complaint against Turkish politician Ümit Özdağ.

The Turkish lawmaker of Armenian descent representing the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) delivered his annual Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement on April 24. Shortly afterwards, Ümit Özdağ threatened him.

In his April 24 statement, Paylan criticized the naming of streets in Turkey after Talaat Pasha, a political leader of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century who was the architect of the Armenian Genocide.

“We are walking on streets 106 years later named after Talaat Pasha, the architect of the genocide. We send our kids to schools named Talaat Pasha. We are living in a Turkey like what Germany would have been if there had been streets and schools named after Hitler in Germany today,” tweeted Paylan.

This statement seemingly infuriated the nationalist MP Özdağ, who tweeted: “Shameless, provocative man. If you are not very pleased [about living here], go to hell…”

“When the time comes, you will and should also go through a Talaat Pasha experience,” Özdağ concluded.

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Paylan filed the complaint under the penal code articles of “incitement of enmity,” “insults and threats” and “incitement to commit a crime.”

“Calls for violence against minorities open the way to hate crimes. Discrimination and hate speech should not go unpunished,” Paylan said in Ankara on Wednesday.

The Commission against Racism and Discrimination of the Human Rights Association, a Turkish organization, also filed a complaint against Özdağ.

 

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