Following a warning made by pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan that he received intelligence about assassination plots targeting Turkish citizens living in Europe, a video shared on social media on Thursday shows two pro-government journalists calling on the Turkish intelligence service to kill journalists living in exile who worked for media outlets that were close to the faith-based Gülen movement.
In an undated video of a live TV program, journalists Cem Küçük and Fuat Uğur, staunch supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, name former Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı, former Today’s Zaman columnist Emre Uslu, former Today’s Zaman Ankara Representative Abdullah Bozkurt and former Today’s Zaman columnist professor İhsan Yılmaz as the first to be assassinated.
“Blow the brains out of 3 to 5 of them. Look how frightened they’ll be. Kill that Ekrem Dumanlı, Emre Uslu now… Abdullah Bozkurt lives in Stockholm. His home address is known by the [Turkish] state. [Turkish intelligence] knows where Emre Uslu lives. All those dastards. The dog known as İhsan Yılmaz travels around Australia and New Zealand,” Küçük said.
Speaking during a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday, Paylan said: “I received intelligence last week of plans of assassination or a chain of assassinations targeting our citizens living in Europe, particularly those in Germany, information I have verified with multiple sources.”
He added that the intelligence points to three assassins.
Paylan’s statement came days after Aydın Ünal, a former speechwriter of President Erdoğan and current Justice and Development Party (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 strong 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 to 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.