Garo Paylan, deputy of Peoples’ Democratic Party, defines new electoral regulation for minority foundations as an imposition.
He says they have been struggling for democratic elections for nine years; and argues that elections nine years before were not democratic because board of directors at office were determining the electoral committee. Although minority communities had had many demands pertaining this issue, he states, their demands have not been considered by the state which imposes its own will. He claims that the palace (He refers to President Erdoğan administration) has issued this regulation to keep some in the Armenian community, who exploited by the palace, in power.
He underlines that there must be an impartial electoral committee for fair and democratic elections. “Can you imagine that current board of directors, beside other candidates, participate in the election and they determine the electoral committee, in other words the referee of the match? For example, there will be the presidential election. If the High Council of Election is entirely determined by the president himself and only those selected by the president are present at the ballot boxes, can this be a democratic election? No, it cannot.”
He also adds that the separation of elections of those foundations with hospitals, which are the biggest foundations of Armenian and Greek communities, is wrong and unacceptable. “This is an imposition; we do not accept this. We will articulate our objections against this imposition.”
“We will not give up”
He reminds that these foundations provide public services through their schools, hospitals, and churches. “These foundations should be administered well. Our aim is this. For good administration there must be democratic elections. Those administrations supported by the society have to be in power. However, democratic elections could not be carried out for a long time as some cliques do not want to leave the administration. Thus, our foundations are governed badly. These foundations have serious number of immovable properties, and these properties are exploited by some. They have set some sham fights. I think, indeed, there are some calculations of profit behind this regulation because if administrations with popular support and caring about the benefits of society come to the power, these estates will be managed more efficiently. The rents collected from these properties will be used for the benefits of the [Armenian] community. But, it seems, they do not want this. I do not understand who expect what from the continuation of bad administration. We will not give up. Our struggle for democratic elections will continue. Unfortunately, current climate of fear obscures the objections. Lastly, we faced another imposition during the patriarchal elections. We elected the Armenian patriarch in a way contrary to our traditions. Now, we face a similar imposition contrary to our will in the elections of foundations. I think there will not be enough objections, but I will carry this to the parliament. There are some circles in the Armenian community that articulate their objections. I think some lawsuits may be filed, too…Our struggle for democratization of Turkey goes on through democratization struggle within minority communities.”
Source: Garo Paylan'dan Cemaat Vakıfları Seçim Yönetmeliği eleştirisi: 'Saray'dan yeniden bir dayatmaya uyandık' (cumhuriyet.com.tr)