The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will nominate Armenian Sevan Nisanyan as candidate at the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Turkey, assistant to the party’s Secretary General Tarik Beyhan told Agos.
Beyhan said Nisanyan has greatly contributed to linguistics, culture and architecture, but more noteworthy is his role in the field of the freedom of speech.
“Freedom of speech and tolerance are the two important pillars of liberalism. Therefore, we think that Nisanyan is a very important figure both for our party and the country as a whole,” he said.
Nisanyan is currently serving time over a charge of “deliberately causing harm to the protection of immovable cultural heritage” for his building an addition to his home in the Aegean village of Sirince. However he is known for his outspoken criticism of the government, and it is widely believed that his sentencing was simply an excuse to silence the vocal critic.
Nisanyan has been imprisoned since January 2014, and he also has a pending prison sentence of 14 years 2 months.