YEREVAN—Armenian Member of Parliament Zaruhi Postanjyan on Monday called to invite Garo Paylan, Armenian member of the Turkish parliament, to Armenia.
According to Postanjyan, “Paylan should address the Armenian parliament and reach out to all our compatriots around the world with a message.”
Postanjyan called on the National Assembly Speaker Galust Sahakyan to send an official invitation to Paylan, stressing that it is necessary for the Armenian government to show solidarity to someone who religiously raises Armenian issues in the Turkish parliament.
“The matter needs to be discussed further. We should consider the feasibility of inviting him to Armenia and to understand what the message behind the invitation would be. I welcome the idea, it is acceptable for us, yet we should consider the political context as well,” Sahakyan said.
Paylan was suspended on January 14 from three parliamentary sessions as punishment for referencing the Armenian Genocide during the legislature debate of a new Turkish constitution. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) “verbally assaulted” Paylan for using the word genocide during his speech, and “forced him to apologize.”
During his speech, Paylan addressed the Turkish parliament saying “Once we were 40% of the population, now we are as few as one in a thousand. Doubtless, something terrible happened to us. I call it genocide, you can call it whatever you want. Let’s name it together and move on.”
“The Armenian people know what happened to them. I know what happened to my ancestors, to my grandfather. I am one of the ‘remnants of the sword’ (“kılıç artığı”) as you call it, declared null and void, reduced to one in a thousand. Let’s draw lessons from the past and not develop calamities out of it. You name it and let’s confront it together,” he concluded.