Turkey sues former HDP executives over Armenian Genocide remarks
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's office has filed a case against 11 former Central Executive Board members of pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) over Armenian Genocide remarks.
Prosecutors have demanded a prison sentence of between six months and two years for the 11 defendants on charges for “insulting Turkishness”, T24 news website reported on Thursday.
On April 24 last year, HDP’s Central Executive Board released a statement marking the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
The board members said on April 24, 1915, 250 Armenian intellectuals and politicians were taken from their homes, forcibly exiled and murdered by the Teskilat-ı Mahsusa, an organization acting under the Committee of Union and Progress that seized power in latter stages of the Ottoman Empire.
This was “the date the Armenian Genocide had begun,” HDP said, adding that the “Armenian people were massacred to a large extent, being driven from their homeland where they had lived for millennia.”
"The legal order does not protect the members of a political party established in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Turkey from carrying out activities against the Turkish nation," Turkish prosecutors said in the indictment against 11 HDP members.
Armenians say “systematic” atrocities carried out by the Ottoman Empire during World War I, have left some 1.5 million of their people dead and seek global recognition of the act as a genocide.
Turkey denies that a genocide took place, saying any killings were not systemic or orchestrated. It strongly objects to all attempts at recognition internationally, saying that it is politically motivated.
More than 30 countries, including the United States, Russia, Germany and France have officially recognised the killing of ethnic Armenians as a genocide.