Turkish MP Ümit Özdağ threatens Armenian Turkish MP with genocide

ANKARA — Independent Member of Turkish Parliament Ümit Özdağ on Wednesday insulted and threatened Armenian Member of Turkish Parliament Garo Paylan (Peoples’ Democratic Party, HDP) over the latter’s proposal that the Turkish Parliament recognize the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian people during World War I.

In response to the threats, Paylan has sued Özdağ.

Özdağ was formerly a member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) until 2016 and Good Party (İYİ) from 2017 to 2020.

Also Read: Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) says Turkey must face its past and recognize the Armenian Genocide

Paylan filed the suit against Özdağ on the basis of Article 216 of the Criminal Court because of hateful and hostile statements made towards Paylan. Following Paylan’s call for Turkey to recognize the genocide, Özdağ wrote on Twitter that he could “go to hell” and exclaimed that, “when the time comes, [Paylan] shall have a Talaat Pasha experience, and [he] must live it.”

Talat Pasha was one of the most prominent planners of the genocides of the Armenian, Syriac (Aramean–Chaldean), Greek, and Yezidi peoples in 1915.

Paylan had asked in his proposal that Talat Pasha’s name be removed from streets, alleys, and neighborhoods in Turkey, adding that calls and threats against minorities give way to hate crimes against them and these calls should not pass unpunished.

In addition to Paylan, the Human Rights Association of Turkey plans to sue Özdağ for his statements and threats, which are a violation of Article 14 of the European Union’s Human Rights Charter.