ANKARA — HDP Istanbul MP Garo Paylan has appealed to the Constitutional Court of Turkey over hindering his speech at the parliament and being excluded from three sessions by the parliament speaker, Agos reports.
During the discussions of the constitutional changes proposal in Turkey’s parliament on January 13, Paylan talked about the Armenian Genocide which angered the ruling and opposition party members. He was asked to take back his words, which he refused. Consiquently the parliament deputy speaker decided to exclude him from three sessions, and his words were removed from the parliamentary minutes.
In his court apeal, Paylan called what has happened with him as a violation of his parliamentary immunity and restriction of freedom of speech. He also stated that the exculsion ruling against him contradicts to the parliament’s rules of procedure.
In an interview with “Radyo Agos” program of Açik Radyo, Paylan gave more details about what happened in the parliament:
“After my statements, AKP MPs started to yell. There was a break for more than one hour. During the break, MHP and AKP MPs came together. They turned the situation into a crisis. MHP said that it won’t be supporting the amendments if I am not punished. Since AKP leans on MHP now, it hasn’t risen to the challenge. Now, I am excluded from the parliament for 3 sessions.”
“The worst part was that AKP, MHP and CHP MPs made contemptible remarks stating that I cannot use the word genocide. It was like peer pressure; other MPs enthusiastically clapped for showing their support. There was a lynch atmosphere. We left the parliament with my friends, after my punishment was declared.”
“I just said, “100 years ago, the ones who said ‘the constitution of Turks’ caused the destruction of peoples. If you say it again today, the ignored ones will either lapse into silence or revolt. It will do harm us all.” I tried to tell it with reference to the events happened 100 years ago. I talked about the disaster that befell us. I said that we shouldn’t be preoccupied with the naming; I said, ‘I call it genocide and you may call it whatever you want.’ I didn’t mean to provoke anything. Unfortunately, this is just the zeitgeist, I guess. Other countries had gone through such dark times; now we are going through dark times.”