Turkish prosecutors move to probe HDP politicians over Armenian Genocide statement

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office is seeking the Justice Ministry's approval to launch investigations against 26 HDP politicians for using the term “Armenian Genocide” in their April 24 statement. The summaries of proceedings prepared by the prosecutors accuse the HDP politicians of “insulting the Turkish state.”

HDP supporters wave party flags in this file photo.

Duvar English

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has prepared summaries of proceedings against 26 members of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)'s Central Executive Board (MYK), online news portal T24 reported on Dec. 25.

The prosecutors have asked the Justice Ministry to let them launch investigations into the HDP MYK members for using the term “Armenian Genocide” during their statement on April 24 – the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

The summary of proceedings accused the HDP members of “insulting the Turkish state” as per the Penal Code's Article 301 and said that the term “genocide” cannot be used for any “painful incidents experienced” before 1948, i.e. when the United Nations adopted and the Universal Declaration of Human Right.

The summary of proceedings further said that “None of the parties whose deputies swore in the Turkish parliament can undertake an action that will go against the nation.”

“According to the framework of the file, it has been understood that the people aforementioned have explicitly insulted the Turkish Nation and the Turkish Republic and therefore committed the crimes they have been charged with.”

On April 24, the HDP called on Turkey to face its history and recognize the Armenian Genocide, which has sparked strong reactions from the ruling party and government officials.

The HDP’s statement came as Joe Biden became the first U.S. president describing the 1915 events as “genocide” through an annual commemorative declaration.

Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces in World War One, but denies the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute genocide.