AGBU WELCOMES MEMBER OF TURKISH PARLIAMENT GARO PAYLAN TO ITS CENTRAL OFFICE

On October 3, AGBU welcomed member of Turkish Parliament Garo Paylan to its Central Office in New York. As part of his tour of the United States, Paylan met with AGBU President Berge Setrakian and AGBU Central Board members Ani Manoukian and Vasken Yacoubian. In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Setrakian paid tribute to Mr. Paylan's courage in coming forward with his intervention in the Turkish Parliament on April 24 and for his activism in defense of human rights in Turkey. During the meeting, both parties discussed the role of the diaspora in supporting the democratic process in Turkey. This meeting was the first to take place between AGBU and Paylan and will set the groundwork for future interactions.

Paylan was one of three Armenians elected to the Turkish Parliament in June 2015. A founding member of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), he has a track record for defending minority rights in Turkey and has been vocal in calling for the country’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Before his election to the Parliament, he served on the central committee of the HDP and worked with Armenian schools in Istanbul to promote multilingual education.