Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan on Wednesday said he has confirmed intelligence that exiled opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan including Alevi and Armenian leaders, journalists and academics will be exposed to assassination or a series of assassinations in Europe, CNNTürk reported.
“I confirmed it from various sources last weekend. I have intelligence that Turkish citizens living in Europe in particular will be targeted by assassination or a series of assassinations,” Paylan said during a press conference at Parliament.
Underlining that he had informed the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT), police and government about three hitmen prepared to carry out the assassinations, Paylan said: “Due to the oppressive policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] thousands of academics, journalists, politicians and leaders of society are forced to live in Europe. Those people were labeled as traitors by the AKP government, the president [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] and the media. Unfortunately, this sort of discourse and the atmosphere created by politicians moves certain circles.”
Stating that a structure based in Turkey has readied the hitmen for the assassinations, the HDP deputy said: “This intelligence has been taken seriously primarily by Germany but also by many other European countries. They have mobilized their intelligence services, and certain people and groups have been taken under protection.”
Despite questions from reporters Paylan did not share details of the intelligence sources or the names of the targets.
Paylan’s statement came days after pro-Erdoğan journalists threatened exiled Gülen movement members.
Aydın Ünal, a former speechwriter of President Erdoğan and current AKP deputy, threatened Turkish journalists in exile with extrajudicial killings in a column published on Dec. 4 in the pro-Erdoğan Yeni Şafak daily.
The AKP deputy listed the names of journalists to be targeted: Ekrem Dumanlı, Adem Yavuz Arslan, Celil Sağır, Bülent Keneş, Abdülhamit Bilici, Erhan Başyurt, Emre Uslu, Akın İpek and Can Dündar.
Pro-government Yeni Şafak daily columnist Hikmet Genç, a staunch supporter of Erdoğan, said on Dec. 14 that followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, who are blamed by the Turkish government for a failed coup last year, will soon not be able walk freely in the US, threatening them by saying, “Don’t rest at easy at night.”
“We will destroy them all here in our time, God willing. They will be buried like dogs among crosses [Christians] in places like Pennsylvania. They will not be able to find an imam to recite [the final prayer at their funeral]. They will be buried in the land of infidels. There is no place even for their coffins here. I won’t accept it. Their coffins should be burned. I have no respect [for their dead],” he said.
In a TV program on Dec. 20, 2016, another pro-Erdoğan columnist, Cem Küçük, called for the assassination of exiled journalists Ekrem Dumanlı, Emre Uslu, İhsan Yılmaz, Abdullah Bozkurt and other journalists living in exile linked with media close to the Gülen movement.
“Shoot them in the head,” Küçük had said.
On Dec. 12, 2017 Küçük along with journalist Fuat Uğur said Turkish intelligence should kill family members of jailed Gülen followers in order to turn the inmates into operatives for the Erdoğan regime.
He also talked about excuses about probable deaths of Gülen followers such as traffic accidents, suicides, mass suicides, death from excessive alcohol use, death from overdose, jumping off a bridge due to debt and health problems.
He said Israel would kill 15-20 Gülen followers all around the world if its government was targeted by a graft probe or a coup attempt.