May 17 2018

Investigation launched on Armenian deputy for "insulting Turkey"

The public prosecutor of Turkey's capital city, Ankara, has prepared a summary of proceedings to lift parliamentary immunity from Armenian parliamentarian Garo Paylan of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) for insulting the Turkish nation and the Republic of Turkey, news site Duvar reported.

Paylan is being investigated under Article 301 in the Turkish penal code, which states that it is illegal to "insult Turkey, the Turkish nation, or Turkish government institutions." 

It is notorious for its application in cases against Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish Nobel Laureate in Literature, Hrant Dink, an Armenian journalist who was murdered in 2007, and many other journalists and writers. It was amended in 2008 after severe criticism to require permission from the Minister of Justice to launch investigations. 

The investigation on Paylan was launched after a “concerned citizen’s” complaint that Paylan used the term genocide during an interview with Canadian newspaper Horizon Weekly. 

“Genocide in Turkey is taking place every single day. Each day, our co-chairs and deputies are being killed, imprisoned, just like they were in 1915,” Paylan said in the interview.