Garo Paylan, Istanbul Armenian MP and vice-chairman of the opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey, responded to the announcement on the launching of a criminal case against him, and under the infamous Article 301 (“insulting the Turkish nation”) of the Turkish Penal Code.
Paylan told Agos Armenian weekly of Istanbul that he has always called the tragedy which his family and nation survived a “genocide.”
“As a deputy of the Turkish parliament, I have demanded from the Turkish parliament to call it like it is,” Paylan said, in particular. “Like everywhere, also in the interview noted in the criminal case filed against me, I have said the word ‘genocide.’ But I didn’t accuse today’s Turkish people, but the then junta with a genocidal mindset.
“Sadly, Turkey currently is again rolling back and attempting to prevent—with pressures—the demands for confrontation with the past. [But] let the [Turkish] prosecutors and the Ministry of Justice—which gave a green light to their criminal case—know that by filing a criminal case against me they will not force me to abandon the fight for justice for what has occurred in the present and in the past.”