ISTANBUL—The newly elected Armenian member of Turkey’s Parliament, Garo Paylan of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), said he will file a complaint against Tolga Adıgüzel, the chair of the Kars chapter of the ultranationalist Ülkü Ocakları (commonly referred to as the Grey Wolves) organization, reported CNN Turk. Adıgüzel had asked, “What should we do now? Should we start a hunt for Armenians in the streets of Kars?” after world-renowned Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan performed a concert at the ruins of Ani on June 21.
At a parliamentary press conference, Paylan said that several examples of hate speech have turned into hate crimes throughout Turkey in recent weeks. “Each hate speech crime that goes unpunished pushes people to ‘dove’s skittishness’ and lays the ground for hate crimes,” he was quoted as saying.
Hrant Dink used the phrase “dove’s skittishness” in his final article in the Agos weekly newspaper, describing his feelings over threats made just days before he was gunned down in the street in 2007.
Paylan said that no prosecutor in Turkey has yet taken a real initiative regarding hate speech and hate crimes, and that as a result these crimes have largely remained unpunished. “The recent discourses aiming to create hatred and enmity against the Armenian community in Kars and the LGBT community in Ankara constitute a clear and imminent threat against the right to life,” said Paylan, who also referred to recent attacks against Korean tourists in Istanbul.
On July 5, participants of a march protesting China’s treatment of Turkic Uighurs—organized by the Istanbul chapter of the Grey Wolves—attacked a group of Korean tourists in central Istanbul, mistaking them for Chinese nationals.