Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), who is running for another term in Turkey’s parliament representing Diyarbakir in the upcoming elections, has commented about the investigation targeting him under Turkey’s infamous Article 301.
In an interview with the Bianet Turkish media outlet, Paylan claimed that it is the very same article which caused the murder of prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
Dink, the editor-in-chief of Istanbul’s Agos, a Turkish-Armenian newspaper, was gunned down outside his office in 2007.
“I am under investigation for ‘insulting Turkishness,’ for speaking about the Armenian Genocide,” Paylan said. “Actually, it is the denial of the genocide which is an insult. Call it whatever you want, denying the great tragedy of the Armenians is an insult to Turkishness.”
Paylan called on the Turkish people to recognize the genocide, noting that it is in their favor to do so.
“Thousands of our churches, schools, cultural legacy — we’ve lost everything,” Paylan said. “We are suggesting that you yourself name the events. We are saying, name the events based on a fair remembrance. However, we always get the same answer: ‘You cannot speak about this.’ And in such conditions, it turns out you have insulted Turkishness. Turks are perceived in the world as genocide deniers. Whereas I, on the contrary, I am fighting to eliminate this injustice against Turks.”