Erdogan is the single most destabilizing force in Turkish secular society ever since the death of Ataturk ushered in the re-Islamization of Turkey…
Well over a year ago I hosted a former top Turkish justice in Helsinki, this is the man who presided over the criminal trial of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, finding him guilty and putting him into jail. He personally told me how the Turkish justice system has been corrupted, with legitimate opposition intimidated, victimized and even placed in jail.
Turkey’s Unjust Justice System: Armenian MP Under Attack
- Armenian member of parliament Garo Paylan has good reason to fear for his safety. In January 2007, the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was shot and killed outside his newspaper’s office in Istanbul. Dink, known for his outspokenness on the Armenian genocide, was prosecuted under Article 301, and received numerous death threats. It has been 12 years since Dink’s murder, and the case has yet to be solved.
- Prosecutors are stepping up their efforts to have Paylan’s parliamentary immunity removed, so that he can be tried for “insulting Turkey.” This is a travesty of justice perpetrated by the very system charged with upholding justice.
- On January 13, US President Donald Trump warned Turkey of possible economic sanctions if it attacks Kurds in Syria following the American withdrawal of troops from the war-torn country. Washington would do well to apply similar pressure to Ankara, a member of NATO, to cease violating the human rights — and endangering the lives — of other ethnic minorities and critics, such as Paylan.
Turkish prosecutors have filed a motion to strip an Armenian lawmaker of his parliamentary immunity over his outspoken criticism of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Invoking Article 301 of the Turkish penal code — which states that “insulting the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish nation or Turkish government institutions” is punishable by a prison sentence — the prosecutor’s office of Diyarbakir began proceedings against Garo Paylan, who was elected in 2015 to Turkey’s Grand National Assembly as a member of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Since that time, Paylan has been targeted by Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Last March, for example, Paylan and fellow HDP members were physically attacked by a group of AKP lawmakers for speaking out against Turkey’s “ethnic cleansing” of the Kurds in Afrin, Syria. The following day, Paylan tweeted:
“Last night at the parliament, the AKP members tried to lynch us. They show their barbarism eve