1500 gather in Toronto to pay tribute to Garo Paylan, member of National Assembly of Turkey representing the HDP party

Mr. Garo Paylan, Member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was in Toronto on Sunday, April 30th. 1500+ from the Toronto Armenian community greeted Mr. Paylan with great praise and respect.

The event was sponsored by the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) and organized by a joint Toronto-Armenian organizing committee comprised of the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Evangelical Church of Toronto, St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church and the St. Gregory Armenian Catholic Church of Toronto along with the Bolsahay Armenian Cultural Association, Nor Serount Cultural Association, and the Armenian National Committee of Toronto.

Representatives of the major Armenian organizations including: the aforementioned organizing bodies along with the Zoryan Institute, Armenian General Benevolent Union, Armenian Relief Society, Armenian Youth Federation, Armenian Seniors Organization of Toronto, Homenetmen and Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural and Educational Society were all present. Also present was Mr. Raffi Bedrosyan, a lead organizer of the Surp Giragos Diyarbakir Church reconstruction project in Turkey.

Representing the Toronto Kurdish and Assyrian communities were the Toronto Kurdish Community Centre and the Centre for Canadian-Assyrian relations respectively.

The event started with a short video presentation highlighting Garo Paylan’s civic activism over the past few years. Mr. Sevag Belian, Executive-Director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, then took the stage to present the organizing committee message and introduce Mr. Paylan. Mr. Belian commended Mr. Paylan’s ongoing pursuit for equality, justice, and democratic values, proclaiming “Mr. Paylan, your actions are humbling and inspiring. An inspiration that with it displays a tenacity that forces one to fully appreciate the true meaning of our struggle for justice and democracy.”

Garo Paylan took the stage to great applause and appreciation. Mr. Paylan provided an overview of the current political climate in Turkey, the aftermath of the constitutional referendum and the ongoing uncertainty and concern regarding the rights and freedoms of the minorities living in Turkey. He stressed the importance of acknowledging history, specifically in regards to the Armenian Genocide, stating, “unpunished crimes lead to new crimes.”

Furthermore, Mr. Paylan highlighted the importance of maintaining and upholding the values of democracy, tolerance, respect and human rights in the Republic of Turkey and around the world.

The attendees had the opportunity ask question after which, Mr. Belian invited the President of the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto to present Mr. Paylan with two gifts on behalf of the joint organizing committee: Aram Adjemian’s “The Call from Armenia, Canada’s Response to the Armenian Genocide” reference publication and Kaloust Babian’s photography retrospective.

Mr. Paylan’s presence and exceptional remarks were an inspiration to the entire community and particularly to the upcoming generations who vowed to carry on the torch in the collective struggle of the Armenian people around the world.

Garo Paylan is a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and is a deputy representing the 3rd district in Istanbul. Mr Paylan is a member of Turkey’s Armenian community and has long been an activist on human rights, freedom of speech, minority rights – particularly Kurdish and Armenian issues, including the Hrant Dink murder case.


The Armenian National Committee of Toronto (ANCT) is a chapter of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues.

Photo: The community gathered in front of the Armenian Genocide monument with Paylan (Photo: ANCT)

1500 personnes à Toronto pour honorer le député arménien du Parlement turc Garo Paylan

(Nouvelles d’Arménie) Le député turc d’origine arménienne Garo Paylan a été honoré lors d’un événement au Centre arménien communautaire de Toronto le 30 avril, où plus de 1 500 membres de la communauté se sont réunis pour saluer le parlementaire, a rapporté le Comité national arménien de Toronto (ANCT).

L’événement a été parrainé par le Comité national arménien du Canada (ANCC) et organisé par un comité organisateur mixte de Toronto composé de l’Église apostolique arménienne de la Sainte Trinité, de l’Église évangélique arménienne de Toronto, de l’Église apostolique arménienne de Sainte-Marie et de l’Église catholique arménienne Saint-Grégoire de Toronto, avec l’Association culturelle arménienne Bolsahay, l’Association culturelle Nor Serount et l’ANCT.

L’événement a commencé par une courte présentation vidéo mettant l’accent sur l’activisme civique de Garo Paylan au cours des dernières années. Sevag Belian, directeur exécutif du Comité national arménien du Canada (ANCC), a ensuite pris la parole pour présenter le message du comité organisateur et présenter Garo Paylan. Sevag Belian a félicité Garo Paylan pour son combat pour l’égalité, la justice et les valeurs démocratiques, en proclamant : “Monsieur Paylan, vos actions sont inspirantes. Une inspiration qui, avec elle, montre une ténacité qui oblige à apprécier pleinement le véritable sens de notre lutte pour la justice et la démocratie “.

Garo Paylan a pris la parole et a donné un aperçu du climat politique actuel en Turquie, après le référendum constitutionnel et l’incertitude et les préoccupations persistantes concernant les droits et libertés des minorités vivant en Turquie. Il a souligné l’importance de reconnaître l’histoire, en particulier en ce qui concerne le génocide arménien, affirmant que “les crimes impunis entraînent de nouveaux crimes“.

De plus, Garo Paylan a souligné l’importance de maintenir et de défendre les valeurs de la démocratie, de la tolérance, du respect et des droits de l’homme en République de Turquie et dans le monde.