Turkish environment minister ‘trolls’ himself in Twitter message

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Turkey’s Environment Minister Mehmet Özhaseki

Turkey’s Environment Minister Mehmet Özhaseki, who attracted criticism for saying that everybody is a potential martyr, tweeted a message on Saturday that actually appeared to troll himself, reported the TR724 news website.

“Brother don’t let yourself be used for the interests of the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party]. Stop this verbiage. We will not let you gobble up @mehmetozhaseki,” tweeted Özhaseki after attracting much criticism for remarks praising martyrdom made in Kayseri prior to a car bomb attack that claimed the lives of 13 soldiers and injured 56 others in that same central Anatolian province on Saturday.

The same message was tweeted by a pro-government troll account.

After the attack in Kayseri, many social media users criticized Minister Özhaseki, recalling his remarks about martyrdom last week following a terror attack last Saturday in İstanbul that killed 44 people and injured 166 others.

Environment Minister Özhaseki, who visited a police station in the central province of Kayseri in the aftermath of the İstanbul bombings, told the police officers there: “We are all potential martyrs. God willing, I want to be a martyr, and I hope you all will be martyrs, too.”

Özhaseki attracted widespread criticism due to his remarks, with many accusing him of trying to cover up government negligence by lauding martyrdom.

Last month in a similar scandal, Justice And Development Party (AKP) Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe mistakenly tweeted a message promoting himself that was apparently prepared for a troll account.

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