At the conclusion of Sunday’s Turkish national elections, during which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan guaranteed his continued rule, two Turkish Armenians were re-elected to the parliament.
Garo Parylan, representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Markar Esayan, who was running under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were both re-elected to parliament.
During this election Paylan, who was representing the third district of Istanbul, ran in the Kurdish majority region of Diyarbakir (Dikranagerd) where he received the overwhelming majority of the votes, clocking in at 65 percent, according to the Milliyet newspaper.
Paylan is a founding member of the HDP and an active member of Turkey’s Armenian community. As a long-time human rights activist, Paylan has been outspoken on issues of minority community rights, including the right of the Armenian community to hold unimpeded elections for a Patriarch in Istanbul, and more recently introduced legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide, which was rejected by the ruling AKP party.
Born in 1969, Esayan started his career in journalism in 1997 at the Agos newspaper, where he also served as a columnist beginning in 2001. He later collaborated with the daily Taraf newspaper as an editorial coordinator and served as its the editor-in-chief. Since 2013, Esayan has been writing for Yeni Şafak daily.