ISTANBUL — HDP Istanbul MP Garo Paylan filed a criminal complaint against “Armenian bastards” slogan, which audience shouted during Turkish President Erdogan’s speech in Trabzon on October 15. Paylan appealed to Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office upon Article 216 to Turkish Penal Law that bans “inciting hatred and hostility among peoples and denigration”.
In the complaint, Garo Paylan stated: “On October 15, there was a rally in Trabzon, where President Erdogan gave a speech. The audience, which is claimed to be AKP members, repeatedly shouted ‘Armenian bastards cannot discourage us.’ The president, ministers and member of organization committee didn’t do anything to prevent people from shouting that slogan.
This slogan, apart from the fact that it insults Armenian people who have been living on these lands for centuries, is considered as hate speech under the international laws to which Turkey is a party and the practices of ECHR.
Unfortunately, such expressions about Armenian people are nothing new. It is self-evident that hate speech has the power of leading to public indignation and constitutes a danger to safety of life and property of Armenian citizens, for this fact has been a part of the rulings of national and international judicial authorities. Especially the silence of the president, who is supposed to treat equally to all citizens, increases the power of hate discourse and facilitates the targeting of Armenians.
In addition, by constituting an obstacle to the practice of living together peacefully, this slogan incited hatred and hostility against a section of the population on the basis of their racial difference and denigrated Armenian people.”
Erdogan, Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu and Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs Veysel Eroglu are presented as witnesses of the incident.
A day before, Paylan posted footage, showing a crowd cursing Armenians during the Erdogan speech. The audience was shouting “Armenian scum,” while Erdogan was smiling.