Kurdish-German politician receives death threats from Turkish far-right groups

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Sevim Dağdelen, a Kurdish-German politician from the German Left Party, said she has been receiving death threats from Turkish ultranationalist groups, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported citing Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish service.

According to Jörg Schindler, the Left Party’s federal manager, the threats were allegedly coming from a group linked to the Turkish Gendarmerie Intelligence Organization (JITEM).

JITEM is a controversial wing of the gendarmerie, and its existence was denied by the state for years. It was later officially acknowledged by former prime ministers Bülent Ecevit and Mesut Yılmaz. JITEM has been linked to the disappearance and execution of Kurdish activists, politicians and businesspeople throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Schindler said the Turkish government was “tolerating” JITEM to say the least, and that the German government needed to respond to these threats in the fastest and most effective way.

He revealed that another female party member, Sarya Aytaç, was also threatened by groups linked to JITEM.

“Authorities need to take the necessary precautions immediately, and protect our female comrades,” said Schindler.

There have been previous claims that Turkish authorities have been targeting foreign national politicians.

Last year, an alleged Turkish agent, Feyyaz Ö. working for Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT), admitted to being ordered to kill a Kurdish-Austrian politician in a bid  to cause chaos among the Turkish and Kurdish communities in Austria.

Feyyaz  Ö. surrendered to the Vienna State Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (LVT) and reportedly testified to the authorities that he had been tasked with an attack on Berivan Aslan, a Kurdish-Austrian politician from Austria’s Green Party.

Peter Pilz, a former Austrian politician, was also on the assassination list, in addition to Andreas Schieder, an Austrian member of the European Parliament.

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said they had taken these claims seriously, “This is about an exertion of influence by a foreign power in Austria, and this will in no way be accepted,” he said.

In the same statement the minister claimed more than 30 Austrians had been detained in Turkey between 2018 and 2020 and forced by MİT to work for them as spies.

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