Armenian Observers in Turkey’s Parliamentary Election
A delegation led by the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) was invited by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP, Halklarin Demokratik Partisi) for a short-term observation mission to the Parliamentary Election in Turkey on June 7.
The delegation was comprised of Kaspar Karampetian (President, EAFJD), Bedo Kurkjian-Demirdjian (PR and Communication, EAFJD), Vera Yacoubian (Executive Director, Armenian National Committee of the Middle East), Peter Petrossian (Chairman, Armenian National Committee of Belgium), and George Aghjayan (Member, Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region).
In a statement issued in May, the EAFJD supported the HDP and called on the Turkish citizens of Europe to vote in favor of HDP, taking into consideration the party’s inclusiveness of minorities and their rights, promotion of open democracy, and challenge to Erdogan’s autocratic aspirations.
Prior to the June 7 election, the EAFJD delegation was briefed by HDP on the attacks, intimidation, fear, smear campaign, and terror, and all other legal and illegal difficulties the party faced. HDP co-president Selahattin Demirtas was personally targeted by the ruling AK Party for “collaborating” with the Armenian Diaspora.
On election day, the EAFJD-led delegation visited a number of electoral districts and centers, noted the irregularities and difficulties that the opposition parties in general and the HDP in particular faced. The findings of the delegation will be published in a report in the coming days.
After the ballots were cast, the delegation followed the election results at the HDP Istanbul Central Office, where many voters were assembled to celebrate the victory. The delegation was also present at the press conference given by HDP co-presidents Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas.
Three Armenians—Garo Paylan (HDP), Markar Esayan (AKP), and Selina Ozuzun Dogan (CHP)—were elected, and became the first Armenians to enter parliament since 1961.
Karampetian, president of EAFJD, welcomed the results of the elections. “We are happy that three Armenians are elected to the Parliament, and at the same time we are pleased that HDP could exceed the threshold of 10 percent that would allow them to enter the Parliament with an unprecedented representation,” said Karampetian, adding, “We have already stated that a HDP parliamentary group in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey would mean the presence of a party that will struggle for freedom, equality, peace and justice.”
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