The HDP candidate in the Turkish parliamentary elections of 24 June has galvanized an audience of nearly 2,000 people in the Phocaean city. Curtain up on a man of exception.
The doors of the Docks du Sud, a cultural and associative center of Marseilles, were open from 7 pm on Friday, June 1st, to host a meeting to support Garo Paylan. A member of the HDP (People’s Democratic Party), emblematic figure of the Armenian community, he seeks a mandate in one of the 81 provinces of the country, that of Dyabekir, June 24. The same day as the presidential election. HDP’s candidate, Selahattin Demirtaş, will campaign from his prison cell where he has been incarcerated since November 2016. A favorite of the elections, however, mistreated in the latest polls against the background of the economic crisis and the fall of the Turkish lira, the outgoing president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party, the AKP, hope to establish a dictatorship with the legitimacy of the ballot box, legitimacy mingled with the media steamroller at their command, the independents having been banned or muzzled.
This large-scale event has been possible, once is not customary, by the joint mobilization of many organizations (Armenian, Kurdish, Turkish and French) and personalities: HDP Europe represented by Eyyup Doru, CCAF South (Coordinating Council of Armenian organizations in France), Solidarity & Freedom, CKDM (Kurdish Democratic Center Marseille), Marseille MPs François-Michel Lambert (LREM) and Pierre Dharréville (Democratic and Republican Left). All succeeded brilliantly in the tribune before giving way to the star of the evening, Garo Paylan, who came especially to France for this single meeting. One would have thought that the young 46-year-old speaker would find it difficult to hold the room in his speech in Turkish, requiring breaks for French translation purposes. It was not so, on the contrary. For many, who are wondering how and why Garo Paylan does not take refuge in Europe to escape the very serious risks to his security and freedom – he dared to mention in the Turkish National Assembly on 14 January 2017, ” the disappearance of four peoples between 1913 and 1923, Armenian, Greek, Assyrian and Jewish [in our country] “, using the terms” massacres “and” genocides “- it is enough to read the answer on his face transfigured on the podium, by the podium. He is an authentic tribune. He exults, he is as inhabited and astonishingly, he displays a disarming smile, which he undoubtedly draws from the conviction that his cause is just and therefore necessarily victorious. Garo Paylan drives the nail. “We politicians tend to present every election as a decisive deadline, but this time I tell you, this June 24 election is as important as the one that saw Hitler take power in 1933.” Rain of applause.
The hecatomb of arrests of HDP members and elected officials would have been right for any party in the world but the HDP did not burst. Do you know why ? He launches as a challenge to the audience. “Because we fight for honor, it’s a fight for honor. We never knelt and we will never kneel. The Western observer will seek in vain in the flow of his words, the bases of an economic, social, political program. It is that the stake is well upstream. Garo Paylan sees himself as one of the “fighters of freedom and peace”, opposed to the forces of “obscurantism and fascism”. As for the goal, it’s simple. Block “Erdogan’s dreams” by crossing the fateful threshold of 10%, sesame to enter the Assembly. “Every voice counts. Are you ready to mobilize? Without understanding either Turkish or Kurdish, one can guess the answer that is fuse.