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Turkish-Armenian lawmaker threatened over genocide remarks

A criminal complaint was filed against Turkish lawmaker Umit Ozdag after he threatened Garo Paylan, an Armenian deputy with the Peoples’ Democratic Party, over remarks regarding the Armenian genocide.
Armenian lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish HDP party Garo Paylan speaks during an interview on Oct. 12, 2020, in Istanbul. Despite keeping a low profile since the fighting started in Nagorno-Karabakh, members of the tiny Armenian community of Turkey feel under pressure and fear being targeted for any perceived support of Armenia amid Ankara's vociferous backing of Azerbaijan.

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) filed a criminal complaint Tuesday against independent lawmaker Umit Ozdag over threats toward Garo Paylan, an Armenian deputy with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), following remarks Paylan shared on Twitter regarding the Armenian genocide.

The news comes as tensions remain high in Turkey following Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on April 24, during which US President Joe Biden broke with his predecessors and recognized the 1915 mass killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottomans as genocide in a statement, putting further strain on US-Turkey relations.

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