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 Elections of Turkey on 7 June, 2015.
The delegation was comprised of Kaspar Karampetian (President, EAFJD), Bedo Kurkjian – Demirdjian (PR & 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 favour of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, 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 elections of June 7, 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 Selahettin 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 centres, noted all the irregularities and difficulties which 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 EAFJD 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 Selahettin Demirtas.
Three Armenians – Garo Paylan (HDP), Markar Esayan (AKP) and Selina Ozuzun Dogan (CHP) were elected, and became the first Armenians to enter the parliament since 1961.
Kaspar Karampetian, President of EAFJD, welcomed the results of the elections, and said ‘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% that would allow them to enter the Parliament with an unprecedented representation.’ Karampetian added ‘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’.