Due to my nation’s authoritarian flip, my background and political leanings are sufficient to show me right into a goal. On Oct. 5, the Eurasia Institute of Strategic Affairs, a nationalist outlet, printed a full-page commercial in help of Azerbaijan in Sabah, a newspaper with links to the Erdogan family. It was signed by former and present members of the Turkish Parliament from the A.Okay.P.
The commercial in Sabah accused me of being pro-Armenian and of committing treason, calling on the Turkish judiciary and the Parliament to “fulfill its responsibility.” Within the present Turkish political local weather, it seemed like a name to take away my immunity — parliamentarians in Turkey have immunity from prosecution — in order that I might be placed on trial for my peacenik stance. But I’ve filed a authorized grievance concerning the advertisers and continued to name for peace within the Caucuses.
As an Armenian from Turkey and a descendant of genocide survivors, I do know very properly the which means of this message. In 2007, Hrant Dink, a celebrated and outspoken Armenian journalist from Istanbul, who edited the Agos newspaper, was assassinated by a Turkish nationalist in an identical interval of heightened nationalism. Mr. Dink as soon as described Turkey’s Armenian minority as “residing with the trepidations of a dove.”
The darkness that engulfed Turkey appears to widen each day. Prior to now few weeks, dozens of my associates from the H.D.P., together with Ayhan Bilgen, the elected mayor of Kars, on the border with Armenia, have been arrested on trumped-up terrorism expenses, ostensibly for organizing avenue protests in 2014 throughout the nation. The protests had been a response to the federal government’s nonchalance within the face of the siege of the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani by the Islamic State.
Seven H.D.P. parliamentarians, together with me, are being accused of “trying to overthrow the constitutional order” in an indictment, and a prosecutor is preparing to ask the Parliament to take away our immunity, which can then enable the police to arrest us. This was already achieved to Selahattin Demirtas, a former co-chairman of the H.D.P., and 1000’s of different H.D.P. members and officials who’re in jail. It’s not arduous to see that the political intention right here is to paralyze our celebration — the third largest in Turkey — and weaken the opposition.
Regardless of the latest threats, I used to be inspired by 1000’s of individuals calling, writing and gathering signatures expressing their support for me. The opposite day, somebody cleansing the streets shouted at me, “My deputy, in the event that they take you away someday and you can not see us, know that we’re right here.” And I do.
It’s possible you’ll marvel why we proceed to battle for democracy on this nation. Issues weren’t all the time so darkish in Turkey. A decade in the past, Turkey was a comparatively promising democracy, on path for European Union membership and calling for regional peace. It coined the “zero issues with neighbors” coverage, and at one level, we had been even near normalization of relations with Armenia.