ANKARA, Turkey—Garo Paylan, Armenian member of the Turkish parliament representing the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), appealed to the Constitutional Court on Monday for interrupting his January 13 speech and his suspension from Parliament for referring to the Armenian Genocide, reported Agos News on Monday.
Paylan labels the incident as “the violation of the right to immunity and freedom of speech.”
The parliamentarian also appealed to the Grand National Assembly, demanding to overturn the decision on his suspension, as it violates the Parliament’s rules of procedure.
“At one time we comprised 40% of the population,” Paylan said despite an uproar by AKP members. “Today we are one among 1000. Something happened to us, and I call it genocide whatever you call it. The Armenian people know very well what happened to them. I know very well what happened to my father, grandfather. Let’s face [history] together,” he added.
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) member Metin Külünk demanded that Paylan “correct the word genocide.”
“On a special day like today celebrating MLK [Martin Luther King Jr.] and everything he stood for, Erdogan’s government kicks out an MP in Turkey for mentioning the genocide,” System of a Down frontman and singer-songwriter Serj Tankian said in a Facebook post on Monday.
“Garo Paylan is a true hero because it’s quite easy to speak the truth in a society with no repercussions but very dangerous in one that has many repercussions. I had the unique honor of meeting him last year. We are with you Garo.”