Garo Paylan, who spoke on the floor of the Turkish Parliament about the need for Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide, was threatened by a fellow lawmaker who aligns himself with Turkish nationalists.
Independent lawmaker Ümit Özdağ threatened Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) over his remarks about the Armenian Genocide, the Bianet news agency reported.
On April 24, Paylan criticized the fact that there are still streets and schools that are named after Talat Pasha, who was the Ottoman Empire’s minister of interior during the genocide.
“After 106 years, we walk on streets named after Talaat Pasha, the architect of the Genocide. We educate our children at schools named after Talaat Pasha,” he wrote on Twitter. He likened the situation to naming schools and streets after Hitler in Germany.
Halkımı imha eden zihniyetin kalıntısı “yine yaparız” diyor.
Siz vurdunuz da, biz ölmedik mi? Öldük. Ama geride kalanlar adalet mücadelesini hiç bırakmadı.
Benden sonra da bırakmazlar..
Bu ülkenin vicdanlı çoğunluğu, meydanı senin gibi faşistlere terk etmedi, yine terk etmezler.. https://t.co/EIb4spntxC
— Garo Paylan – Կարօ Փայլան (@GaroPaylan) April 27, 2021
Quoting his tweet, Özdağ wrote: “Impudent provocateur. If you are not content, go to hell. Talaat Pasha didn’t expel patriotic Armenians but those who stabbed us in the back like you. When the time comes, you’ll also have a Talaat Pasha experience and you should have it.”
Özdağ, a former member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was elected as to parliament in the 2018 elections from the İYİ (Good) Party, a splinter movement of the MHP. He resigned from the İYİ Party in early March, accusing it of expelling nationalists from the party.
In response to Özdağ’s tweet, Paylan called him a “fascist” and wrote: “The remnant of the mentality that obliterated my people says, ‘We’ll do it again.’ You hit us and didn’t we die? We died. But those left behind never give up the struggle for justice. And they won’t give up after me as well.”
Özdağ then called Paylan a supporter of the Tashnags(referring to the Armenian Revolutionary Federation), ASALA and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“You massacred hundreds of thousands of Turks. You stabbed our army in the back. Those who did it suffered the punishment of it. No one touched patriotic Armenians,” Özdağ wrote, calling Paylan a “vicious enemy of the Turkish nation.”