Turkey Votes: 3 ethnic Armenians retain seats in parliament

Three ethnic Armenian members of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly were reelected as a result of the country’s preterm parliamentary election on November 1.

They are attorney Selina Ozuzun Dogan, of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), journalist Markar Esayan, of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and activist Garo (Garabed) Paylan, of the opposition pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

The early elections in Turkey were appointed after unsuccessful efforts to form a government following the June polls in which the AKP could not get enough votes for doing that single-handedly.

The party loyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan got nearly 50 percent of the votes in the Sunday elections and will now form the government alone.

But no changes are likely in the Turkish-Armenian relations, a Yerevan-based expert believes.

“At the moment, Turkey has problems with Syria, as well as with the Kurdish movement and it is not the time for it to improve its relations with Armenia,” said Hakob Chakryan.

According to him, in general the Armenian issue is an issue in Turkey on which a state rather than party policy is being carried out.

“Since Armenia gained independence [in 1991] successive Turkish governments have not changed their attitude towards Armenia,” he said.

Some change could be expected if the HDP did better in the Sunday vote as the pro-Kurdish party appears to have a more favorable attitude towards Armenians and its leader is known to have even condemned the Ottoman-era genocide of Armenians.