ISTANBUL— Garo Paylan, Turkish MP, filed a criminal complaint against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday concerning his disregard of anti-Armenian chants shouted during his speech in Trabzon on October 15. Paylan directed the complaint to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office underlining that Erdogan violated Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Law which bans “inciting hatred and hostility among peoples and denigration.”
Paylan’s complaint, translated by Turkey-based Armenian newspaper Agos, can be read below.
“On October 15, there was a rally in Trabzon, where President Erdoğan gave a speech. The audience, which is claimed to be AKP members, repeatedly shouted ‘Armenian bastards cannot discourage us.’ The president, ministers and members of organization committee didn’t do anything to prevent people from shouting that slogan. This slogan, apart from the fact that it insults Armenian people who have been living on these lands for centuries, is considered as hate speech under the international laws to which Turkey is a party and the practices of ECHR. Unfortunately, such expressions about Armenian people are nothing new. It is self-evident that hate speech has the power of leading to public indignation and constitutes a danger to safety of life and property of Armenian citizens, for this fact has been a part of the rulings of national and international judicial authorities. Especially the silence of the president, who is supposed to treat equally to all citizens, increases the power of hate discourse and facilitates the targeting of Armenians. In addition, by constituting an obstacle to the practice of living together peacefully, this slogan incited hatred and hostility against a section of the population on the basis of their racial difference and denigrated Armenian people.”
On Monday, Paylan posted on his official Twitter account footage of Erdogan, Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu and Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs Veysel Eroglu as witnesses of the incident.