Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) called on Istanbul citizens to “build democracy on the [ruins of the] collapsed authoritarianism,” referring to the defeat suffered by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost the Istanbul mayoral election on Sunday.
Paylan made the comments after Ekrem Imamoglu from the Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won the mayoral election in Istanbul. He had won the election in March, but Erdogan had demanded a revote. Imamoglu won Sunday’s election with a wider margin dealing a massive blow to Erdogan and his ruling party.
“What mattered most in this election was that the authoritarianism collapsed,” Paylan told Bianet.
“Now, all of us together must hand in hand fight for democracy. We must leave aside inter-party problems, being Kurd, Turk or Armenian, and once again build democracy upon the collapse of autocracy for all citizens of Turkey,” added Paylan.