ANKARA, Turkey (A.W.)—On July 21, the Turkish Parliament’s constitutional committee passed a bill that criminalized mentioning the Armenian Genocide in Parliament.
The bill that was submitted for debate by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) requires a number of changes in the internal rules of procedure of the legislative body.
In addition to banning the mentioning of the Armenian Genocide, lawmakers are also banned from using the terms “Kurdistan” and “Kurdish regions.” The goal of the bill is to punish lawmakers who break the rule by “insulting the history and common past of the Turkish people.”
The Democratic People’s Party left the hall in protest. Examples of punishments include suspension from parliamentary sessions and a deduction of salary.
Armenian member of Turkish Parliament Garo Paylan of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) called the bill “a nationalist authoritarian coalition proposal of the AKP and MHP parties.
Selina Özuzun Doğan, a Republican People’s Party parliamentarian who is also of Armenian ethnicity, also opposed the bill, saying that while nobody should insult Turkish people’s history, other people’s history should also never be insulted.