ANCA Calls on US Ambassador to Turkey to Condemn Attacks on Garo Paylan

Excerpt from the ANCA’s letter to U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass regarding recent attacks against Turkish Parliamentarian of Armenian descent Garo Paylan.
Excerpt from the ANCA’s letter to U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass regarding recent attacks against Turkish Parliamentarian of Armenian descent Garo Paylan.

Excerpt from the ANCA’s letter to U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass regarding recent attacks against Turkish Parliamentarian of Armenian descent Garo Paylan.

Cites Shameful Record of Official U.S. Silence on Threats to Hrant Dink

WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America has called upon U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass to publicly voice official U.S. concern regarding the safety of Garo Paylan, an Armenian elected to the Turkish Parliament, who has faced growing threats and acts of violence in response to his expression of views on democracy, human rights, and genocide.

In recent days, Paylan has been threatened and physically assaulted within the Turkish Parliament and the Constitution Commission. Videos of these attacks have gone viral.

Paylan called the most recent attacks which took place during the May 2nd Turkish Parliament Constitution Commission hearing a “pre-meditated lynch attempt.” In a statement  issued to the press following the altercation, Paylan explained that “AKP’s Istanbul MP Mehmet Metiner physically attacked me which initiated a planned lynch. Physical attacks increasingly continued and AKP’s MPs pointed out and targeted me by calling out as ‘Come over, Garo is here!’ and making remarks that amount to hate speech about my Armenian identity.“ Paylan posted video from the attack on his Facebook page.

NBC news was one of the many media outlets that covered the May 2 attacks.

In the May 3rd letter to Ambassador Bass, Executive Director Aram Hamparian recalled that, despite ANCA appeals, the U.S. government failed to voice any public concern for the safety of Hrant Dink, who was assassinated in early 2007 following a campaign of political prosecution and official state persecution. “Sadly, none was forthcoming,” Hamparian explained. “The only public words raised in his defense were those eulogizing him after his death.”

The full text of the ANCA letter is provided below.

May 3, 2016

Ambassador John R. Bass
Embassy of the United States of America
110 Atatürk Blvd.
Kavaklidere, 06100
Ankara, Turkey

Dear Ambassador Bass:

I am writing to encourage you to publicly express the concern of the United States regarding the safety of Garo Paylan, an elected member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. He has, as you know, been the target, in recent days and weeks, of both threats and acts of physical violence in response to his free expression of views regarding democracy, tolerance, and human rights issues.

During the tenure of U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson, the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was murdered after a patently political prosecution, official state persecution, and the relentless incitement of hatred directed against him due to his honest discourse about the Armenian Genocide. Prior to his cold-blooded murder, the ANCA had called for an open expression of U.S. concern for his safety. Sadly, none was forthcoming. The only public words raised in his defense were those eulogizing him after his death.

In light of this tragic experience, now is clearly the time for our government to urgently and publicly voice concern for the safety of Garo Paylan, and to also condemn those – both inside and outside of the Turkish government – who are inciting hatred against this courageous civic leader for simply speaking honestly and openly about issues of human rights, tolerance, diversity, and genocide.

We would welcome the opportunity to engage with you further on this matter and look forward to your public remarks on this issue.

Aram Hamparian
Executive Director

cc: Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, Armenian media


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  1. Raffi said:

    Halloooo freedom of speech defenders, where are you, where is the US government

  2. Sylva~MD~poetry said:

    Yes well-done to protect Paylyan ..from godless Turkish scimtars.


    Palyan … Putting the photos of genocided Armenian MPs of 1915
    on the chairs in the Turkish Parliament …
    Those famous literates, dedicated people slayed by Ottomans …
    Lawyers, writers, poets…were tortured, slayed,
    Some says, the butchers crushed their skulls…
    to see in side them …why they were so talented …???
    Some says… they mutilated their hidden organs!!!???

    They took them on April 24, 2015 to a slaughtering place ….
    Collected from many provinces… 600 of them …
    Not one or two … I repeat 600 talented, honest Armenians …
    Including “Gomidas~Komitas, My Musical Saint*”
    Palyan is showing only few photos of them.

    This honest MP can be killed easily …
    The criminals are ready to slay his neck.
    Palyan lost fears …He no longer cares …
    He gave his speech from his firing debt of his cardiocytes,
    His brain rage-filled cells: astrocytes …dendrites …

    He could no longer hide his feelings …
    Kept praising his talented peers …
    In the Turkish non-democratic parliament …
    in this year: April 2016 …
    For those martyrs…who gave their lives …
    For serving Ottoman, faithless government.

    My grandfather Mihran Dabbaghian was slayed…as well…
    Head of customs Department in Dikranagerd, so-called Diyarbakir town…
    And his well-known uncle, famous Lawyer/ Judge in town
    given name by the Turks, Mr. Natick Effendi
    They went to work … never seen again …
    and all their families were slaughtered then…!!!

    I prey for Garo Palyan, not to be slayed like our dear Hrant Dink …
    Who was asking only for Peace … and only Peace…
    Sharing his kindness with those godless populace…

    Although I lost my trust in al mighty God
    But I must pray … I have no other choice…
    I can’t cut my tongue … and brake my red pen …

    My bleeding scares are never healed …
    And will never heal … even after my death …
    My grandchildren will inherit that gene from me
    So they will never forget …what our artful, creative nation felt …

    Dr. Sylva Portoian
    Written instantly
    April 24, 2016
    * Palyan, MP in Turkish Parliament, representing his land,
    Western Armenian, now it is part of so-called, Turkish state.

  3. Dr.R.CARLYON said:

    All of us sitting in safety admire the courage of this fearless Armenian. He puts us to shame.
    If you have the good fortune to live in a democratic land,WRITE to your representative NOW. Demand that your Govt. voice its support for democracy. Remember the Genocide. Stop supporting CROOKS with silence.
    TEXT your MP, her or him, PHONE them. DOORSTEP them. BOTHER them. Make them do the job they were elected to do. TODAY.
    Remember Hrant Dink.
    Dr Richard Carlyon, proud to be 3/16ths Armenian.