Garo Paylan, Fellow HDP Members Attacked by Ruling-AKP MPs in Turkish Parliament

ANKARA, Turkey—Members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including Armenian Member of Turkish Parliament Garo Paylan, were attacked on Wednesday at a parliamentary session. According to Erbil-based Kurdistan 24 news outlet, the parliamentarians were attacked by a group of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers.

HDP’s Filiz Kerestecioglu (R) confronts AKP’s Bayram Ozcelik (L) as another lawmaker holds the former during a scuffle at the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, March 7, 2018. (Photo: DHA)

HDP Member of Parliament (MP) Mahmut Togrul, who represents the Gaziantep Province had his left arm broken, and his colleague Muslum Dogan of Izmir was kicked in the chest during the melee, which reportedly began after members of the HDP accused the government of engaging in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Kurdish people in Syria’s Afrin.

“The rhetoric ‘we will give Afrin to its rightful owners’ and announcements to settle refugees [in Turkey] there, is a plan of demographic change in a Kurdish-populated region; it is called ethnic cleansing,” Togrul had told the assembly during a speech, as quoted by Kurdistan 24.

“Kurds live in Afrin for a millennium. It is called ‘Kurd-Dagh’ (Kurd Mountain). You cannot resettle someone from Aleppo, Idlib, and Raqqa in the houses and lands of the people of Afrin,” he said, referring to Sunni Arab-populated cities of Syria.

According to Torgul, about 40 AKP members rushed the HDP lawmakers and threw punches and delivered kicks to them when they fell to the ground. The attack ended after members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) intervened.

“I was seriously beaten. I went to the hospital and received a medical report that I cannot work for 45 days,” Torgul added in his comments to Kurdistan 24. He also noted that MPs Garo Paylan and Behcet Yildirim also received serious blows during the attack.

“Last night in Parliament, the AKP tried to lynch us. They show their barbarism everywhere. We will continue to resist the fascists and we will win,” Paylan noted on his Facebook page on Thursday.




  1. In Turkish legislative system Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) unfortunately could not grasp their position and forgot their deputy oath, instead, they dealt with only Kurdish issues without respecting Turkish and Kurdish communities’ relations which goes back more than a millennium. The final aim of Turkish operations in Syria is to protect the Turkish southern boundaries against the terror organization ( within parentheses the NATO’s boundaries as well) and leave the territories in Syria to the rightful owners. The claim in the news is not correct. If Turkey intended any ethnic cleansing there would not be any Kurd in Turkey. HDP’ s intention is to exterminate mutual love and respect between two communities. Readers should know that Turks and Kurds have been exchanging brides and bridegrooms for centuries and they are blood relatives. Most of the HDP deputies are working just like militants not as a Turkish Deputies, including Garo Paylan…

    • Turkish “southern border” is the Asian foothills. That’s where Turks invaded from and have been squatting in Anatolia and Caucuses since. Eastern Turkey is historical western Armenia. Ask any race under Turkish ottoman occupation if they are “brothers”. They will all say Turks are the worst and all are glad to have rid the oppression, the raping’s, the theft, the murders. You all need to be rid back to Asia. Its just a matter of time.

  2. They are right it is ethnic cleansing and it has to stop. The Kurds have a right to survive to.

    • Sir:
      The Armenian Weekly is a community newspaper devoted to reporting on issues of concern to the Armenian community and to upholding the highest standards of journalistic integrity and critical historical scrutiny. As a faithful reader and supporter I deeply resent your intrusion on our forum, apparently for the sake of parlaying the sorts of eccentric views typical of the propaganda of the Turkish Republic and its consistently mendacious attempts to falsify the history of Asia Minor, Southeastern Europe, and the Armenian Plateau. Such hostile (and in your case ungrammatical) interventions in an online forum are usually called ‘trolling’. I would suggest that your contributions might be better suited to the sorts of publication that specialize in rehearsing the fantastical pseudo-historical claims of Turkist and Turanist fanatics, and that they have no place here. I sincerely look forward to not encountering your contributions again on this forum.

    • On the contrary, Robert, I think posts like that by Orhan Tan are often useful and should be allowed. They reveal attitudes and aims. For example, is not his assertion that “if Turkey intended any ethnic cleansing there would not be any Kurd in Turkey” just a reuse of Turkey’s genocide denial position that “if Turkey had intended genocide there would not be any Armenians left in Turkey”.

  3. Afrin and some other areas occupated by PKK/PYD after Syria conflicts.
    350.000 Kurds run away from those area into Turkey.
    Those areas not for just Kurds.
    Arabs and Turkman lives there.
    PKK/PYD kicked all Arabs and Turkmans also some Kurds who doesn’t accept their authority.

  4. 1. What Turkey is doing in N. Syria is aggression. Who gave them authority to re-settle vast territories in a foreign country?
    2. Driving the Kurds out and re-settling the territory with Arabs will not solve the Kurdish problem.
    3. Kurds have the right to have their own state. They were living in E. Anatolia when the Turkic tribes migrated there in 7th-9th centuries. So why the Turks think that’s their territory, and that the Kurds have no right to have a state?

    • Kurds were not always there, if by “eastern Anatolia” (a post-genocide term invented by Turkey) you mean the territory of historical Armenia. While some Kurdish-ruled mini-states existed in the lake Van region since the era of the Arab conquests, the vast majority of Kurds moved into Armenia much later, initially during the Seljuk conquests, many more after the Ottoman empire’s conquests and, finally, after the genocide when Kurdish tribes were resettled by the Turkish state into areas formerly inhabited by Armenians. Some Medieval Armenian writers refer to Kurds as “Medes”, but there is no proof they had an actual connection to the real, long-extinct, Medes. The issues of when Kurds arrived into what they now “Kurdistan” and where they came from, and even what is a Kurd, are rather taboo subjects among Kurdish activists.

  5. Orhan Tan:
    Although I doubt you will listen to reason, we do have a responsibility to respond to such a shameful view.

    1. Turkey has a long history of victimizing the minorities of their nation. Three genocides eliminated the presence
    of the indigenous hristian population. Year of denying identity to the Kurds(I.e. mountain Turks) was followed by
    overt oppression. When attempts at peace were followed, the Kurds joined the democratic process and under
    the HDP succeeded in garnering enough votes to pass the representative threshold at 13% resulting in 80 MPs.
    The problem is your country has never been able to deal with the implications of democracy…. free and open
    thinking. Turkey has been governed by institutional discrimination against non-Turks for decades. Easy to call
    any opposing point of view “disloyal”. Any country that has a law such as your infamous code 301 is an
    embarrassment to democracy. We know what happened to Hrant Dink and other. Your fake democracy passes
    laws to remove parliamentary immunity in order to target Kurds or anyone else that challenges anything the
    Sultanate dictates. Don’t blame the HDP. They joined the government process and when you didn’t like the
    results , you attacked, oppresses , jailed and intimidated them into submission. Disgraceful.

    2. Turkey can protect its border easily from its side. There is no threat from the Kurds. They have been too busy
    bravely taking on the ISIS that you allowed through your “border”. Your adventure is a sad attempt to attack the
    Kurds or divide their loyalty. As an American , I am appalled at the behavior of Turkey in attacking our ally, the
    Kurds. As an Armenian, I know your game. Assimilate or deport or murder. Same game from Abdul Hamid, the
    Ittihads, Kemal, or today’s Islamist/ nationalist. Except Erdogan being a new-Ottoman looks at Syria like a
    Turkish possession and violates their sovereignty in the name of some security issue.

    3. Your attack on Garo Paylan is disgusting. He is a man of peace in an atmosphere of violence. There is such
    vile hatred in your country for non-Turks as well as reform minded Turks that it brings being into question your
    goverance policy. Turkey has spent decades oppressing it’s own Armenian, Greek, Assyrian and Kurdish
    CITIZENS. It defies the basic contract of governing in the modern world.

    Every time you attack or kill the oppressed , you inspire other peace loving people to live for the day when they will breathe free air.

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