Garo Paylan

Garo Paylan (Armenian: Կարօ Փայլան, born 1972) is a Turkish politician of Armenian descent. He is a Member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) representing Diyarbakır. He became one of the first Armenian members of Turkey's parliament in decades alongside Markar Esayan (AKP) and Selina Özuzun Doğan (CHP).[1][2][3]

Garo Paylan
Member of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
7 June 2015
ConstituencyIstanbul 3rd electoral district (June 2015)
Personal details
Born1972 (age 47–48)
Istanbul, Turkey
Political partyPeoples' Democratic Party (HDP)
Alma materIstanbul University's School of Business


Garo Paylan was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1972 to an Armenian family originally from Malatya. He graduated from Istanbul University's School of Business. He then became a director of various Armenian schools in Istanbul. Thereafter, he became a director for a project that promoted multilingual education.[4][5]

Political careerEdit

Garo Paylan first joined the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in 2011 and was one of its campaign supports. He then represented the interests of Armenians within the party and soon joined other activists starting the People's Democratic Congress, becoming a member of its Central committee.[6]

Peoples' Democratic PartyEdit

Garo Paylan became one of the founding members of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and was part of its central committee.[1][5]

Member of ParliamentEdit

On June 7, 2015, he was elected into the Grand National Assembly as a representative of Istanbul's 3rd electoral district.[7] He became among the first Armenian members of the Assembly in decades alongside Selina Özuzun Doğan (CHP) and Markar Esayan (AKP).[1][2][3] He was re-elected in the snap elections of November 2015.[8]

Garo Paylan speaking at a conference dedicated to the Armenian Genocide and Hrant Dink

Upon getting elected Paylan vowed to fight against Armenian Genocide denial and demands that the Armenian Genocide be acknowledged in Turkey.[9] In April 2016, during a speech in parliament he made concerning the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Paylan counted the names of Ottoman Armenian politicians who were deported and killed during the Armenian Genocide.[10]

He got re-elected to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in the General Elections on the 24 June 2018.[11] He is currently a member of the Turkish parliament's Planning and Budget Committee.[12]

Brawl in parliamentEdit

Several days after his speech concerning the Armenian Genocide, Paylan was involved in a fight with members of the AKP which forced the parliament to be suspended. Paylan blamed the AKP party for instigating the violence against opposition party members so as to "rule the parliament using brute force instead of diplomacy and politics."[13] Paylan also expressed his fears that the violence would intensify.[13] A week after, on 2 May 2016, another fight occurred during a meeting for constitutional reform in which the Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdag, blamed Garo Paylan for starting the fight the previous week. Paylan responded by saying Bozdag's remarks were slanderous.[14][15] Following the incident, Paylan said that many racist remarks were made about his Armenian identity and that the attack against him was planned. He concluded that he was attacked because of his ethnic Armenian identity.[16][17]

The Human Rights Association of Turkey released a statement condemning the violence against Paylan. The condemnation, released by its Committee Against Racism and Discrimination, stated that the attacks against him were due to his Armenian origin. The statement also condemned various racial slurs that were said to him such as "the Armenian bastard".[18]

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • "Garo Paylan". (in Turkish). Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Retrieved 2018-11-21.


  1. ^ a b c "Garo Paylan milletvekili seçildi mi?". Radikal (in Turkish). 8 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b Janbazian, Rupen (15 June 2015). "Garo Paylan, Selina Özuzun Doğan Speak about Being Armenian, Turkey Politics". ANI Armenian Research Center. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Three Armenians Elected to Turkish Parliament". Armenian Weekly. 7 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Garo Paylan". Haber Turk.
  5. ^ a b "Meet the newly elected Armenian Deputies in the Turkish Parliament". Aypoupen. 7 June 2015.
  6. ^ "The Road Ahead: An Interview with Garo Paylan". Armenian Weekly. 1 July 2015.
  7. ^ Şafak, Yeni (2019-11-15). "İstanbul Seçim Sonuçları 2015 - Genel Seçim 2015". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 2019-11-15.
  8. ^ Şafak, Yeni (2019-11-15). "İstanbul Seçim Sonuçları 2015 - Genel Seçim Kasım 2015". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 2019-11-15.
  9. ^ "MP Garo Paylan Vows To Fight Against Genocide Denial". MassisPost. 10 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Garo Paylan Calls for Investigation on Ottoman-Armenian Parliamentarians Killed in 1915". MassisPost. 22 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Two Turkish-Armenian lawmakers re-elected to Turkey parliament". Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  12. ^ "Paylan: Any government that can not produce a solution buys more weapons". Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  13. ^ a b "Turkish MPs Recount Mass Brawls in Parliament Started by Erdogan's Party". Sputnik. 29 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Brawl in Turkish parliament between Kurds and pro-AKP". ANSAmed. 2 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Another fight breaks out at Turkish parliament". Hürriyet Daily News. 2 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Garo Paylan says he was attacked in Turkish parliament for being Armenian". Armenpress. 3 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Turkey: Armenian lawmaker claims attack on ethnic grounds". ArmeniaNow. 4 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Turkish Rights Group Confronts Parliament on Paylan Attacks". Asbarez. 11 May 2016.