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Supporters of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey Received Documentary Evidence from the Prosecutor's Office of Istanbul

hayastannews.com

For now on, the activists of the Union for Human Rights each year on April 24 in case of new attempts of detentions will show the decision of the Prosecutor's Office of Istanbul to the guards of order. The Istanbul prosecution has dropped charges against protesters who were demonstrating with posters saying ''Armenian Genocide - 1915'' on April 24 in an Istanbul square. The investigation into the case was completed recently and the prosecution ruled that it has insufficient evidence for proceedings, thus dropping the case.

It is noteworthy that the prosecution has cited ECHR judgments in its decision, stressing that the definition of freedom of speech includes also terms which are deemed undesirable for a given segment of the population or the state.

The judgment of dropping the case also mentioned that ''the protesters didn't seek to publicly mock the Turkish nation''. The move implies that using the term ''Armenian Genocide'' isn't a crime in Turkey anymore.

This year marks the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, therefore, as in previous years, this reptile, representatives of the Armenian diaspora organized protest actions in front of the embassies and consulates of Turkey in different countries of the world. Protests were held in Turkey itself. Although, as we see, this year the Turkish prosecutor's office decided not to condemn such a step of the activists. In the past, actions and statements in support of the Armenian Genocide were condemned under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code.

It should be noted that Article 301 is an insult to the President of Turkey, the Turkish people or Turkish identity. This commentary actually hides a mechanism of pressure on political opponents of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as those people in Turkey who recognize the Armenian Genocide in spite of the official policy of denial. Before the attempted coup d'état in Turkey in 2016, the vast majority of political prisoners were sent to prison just under Article 301.

Earlier Justice Ministry of Turkey authorized the initiation of a criminal case under this article also against Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the People's Democratic Party (HDP). Back in May last year, the former rector of Giresun University Aigun Attar appealed to the prosecutor's office demanding to initiate criminal proceedings against Paylan in connection with his statements that Genocide was committed against Armenians in Turkey. The prosecutor's office of Ankara considered that the statements of Paylan corresponded to article 301, and since the Ministry of Justice had to authorize the case, it appealed to the ministry. After receiving permission from the Ministry of Justice, the prosecutor's office appealed to the Turkish parliament for depriving Paylan of parliamentary immunity.

It should be reminded that the Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink was charged with the same article, and as a result was killed. 

 

It is known that the fact of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire of 1915 is recognized by many states. The first it did Uruguay in 1965, than many countries followed it: Russia (1995), France (1998), Italy (2000), the Netherlands (2004), Belgium (1998), Poland (2005), Lithuania (2005 ), Slovakia (2004), Sweden (2010), Switzerland (2003), Greece (1999), Cyprus (1975), Lebanon (1997), Canada (1996), Venezuela (2005) , Argentina (2004), Chile (2007), Vatican (2000), Bolivia (2014), Austria (2015), Luxembourg (2015), Brazil (2015). The Armenian Genocide was also recognized by the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches. 48 out of 50 US states officially recognized and condemned the Armenian Genocide. Parliaments of several European countries passed laws providing for criminal responsibility for denying the Armenian Genocide. However, Turkey still denies the massacre of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

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