An Armenian genocide monument in Brussels was vandalized on Tuesday by the Turkish ultranationalist Grey Wolves.
Armenian journalist Aris Nalci shared photographs of the monument, sprayed with red paint, on Twitter. The group spray-painted three crescents, the symbol of the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), on the monument. They also wrote “F**k [Garo] Paylan,” an Armenian lawmaker from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Paylan has faced an unprecedented level of backlash due to a motion he submitted on Friday asking the legislature to declare the mass killings of Armenians over a century ago a genocide.
Turkey categorically rejects the 1915-16 killings of more than a million Armenians as genocide.
In his motion Paylan asked parliament to recognize the massacre of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as genocide and the removal of the names of the perpetrators of the genocide from public venues.
The motion was rejected by Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop on the grounds that it contravened parliamentary bylaws.
Conservative politicians and the Turkish right wing also expressed outrage over Paylan’s motion.
The Grey Wolves are linked to the far-right MHP, an ally of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Earlier last year, the European Parliament called on the European Union and its member states to examine the possibility of adding the Grey Wolves to the EU terrorist list.
In its 2019-2020 report drafted by Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor, the EP voiced concerns about the group, saying it was expanding to worrying levels not only in Turkey but also in EU countries.