Garo Paylan, an ethnic-Armenian lawmaker of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), filed on Wednesday a criminal complaint regarding a 2016 assassination plot targeting himself.
Paylan said on Twitter that he filed the complaint as Turkish authorities had failed to take any action after the assassination plot was revealed by the former lawyer of the media boss two weeks ago.
“Even though it has been two weeks since an assassination plot targeting me was revealed, neither the government nor prosecutors have taken action. For this reason, I have filed a criminal complaint. Let me note that those who protect criminals are accomplices,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mehmet Sinan İnce, the former lawyer of the notorious mafia boss Alaattin Çakıcı who has dominated Turkey’s underworld for the last four decades, revealed the plot on an Instagram post. According to İnce, the assassination was planned by Levent Göktaş, a shady former soldier currently on the loose over accusations against him for his part in the murder of a Turkish intellectual in 2002.
İnce said in his post that Göktaş had planned to smuggle a gun inside the Turkish parliament to kill Paylan and to put the blame on the mafia leader and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
“You made me prepare the plot,” İnce said in the post addressing Göktaş, adding that the assassination plan had later been cancelled.
İnce was also quick to respond to Paylan’s tweet on Wednesday, accusing the politician for playing the victim and adding that ‘he was alive only by luck”. “This is Turkish soil, know your place!” said the lawyer.
Paylan, who is vocal figure criticising Turkey’s failure to recognise the Armenian Genocide, the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I, had also received various death threats in the past.
Paylan told Bianet that he usually had not taken such threats seriously, but this time things were different. “This assassination plan was organised by the state and hence is very important,” he said.
“All of these arise from the power struggle within the state. We are heading to the elections, and there is a fight to gain power in Ankara. Minorities have always been used as ‘baits’ in the games of power within the state,” Paylan said, recalling recent attacks against the Alevi community.
The lawmaker also referred to the assassination of Hrant Dink, the editor in chief of Agos newspaper and an advocate of reconciliation between Turks and Armenians, who was shot dead outside his office in 2007.
“Hrant Dink was both attempted to be silenced and also used as a bait for the power struggle within the state,” the deputy said.
In another interview with Deutsche Welle Turkish on Friday, Paylan pointed out that such incidences continue to occur as past crimes have not been brought to justice. “As longs as these crimes go unpunished and have not been tackled, this election process can be turned into a chaotic period and we can witness new provocations,” Paylan said.