Hate speech against Gülen movement escalates as pro-Erdoğan propagandist calls for extermination

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Journalist Fatih Tezcan, a pro-Erdoğan propagandist, on Tuesday said on a live YouTube broadcast that followers of the Gülen movement should be massacred right away and that “it would be a waste” to use rat poison to kill them.

“I would even consider any rat poison used to kill those dishonorable murderers who attacked the Turkish people and government on July 15 [coup attempt] wasted,” Tezcan said. “Even rat poison has its uses. It gets rid of rats because they’re harmful. … All those murderers should be massacred right away, right now! They should be executed by our state. OUR state.”

 

Tezcan was defending the supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who discussed on Clubhouse how to exterminate alleged followers of the Gülen movement who are currently in Turkish prisons.

His words about “wasting rat poison” comes in reference to comments made by Furkan Bölükbaşı on Clubhouse, who had said: “One needs to find a poison that’s not expensive. … We shouldn’t be using too much of the government’s budget and people’s taxes.”

According to Tezcan, followers of the Gülen movement cannot be considered dissidents. “[They] are murderers, [they] are the dogs of America,” he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

Tezcan said the sentences served by alleged members of the Gülen movement can’t be considered their punishment and implied that they were comfortable relaxing in prisons.

“You are going to pay the price. Don’t think the days you spent at Hotel Silivri [Istanbul’s maximum-security prison], the sentences you served, were your punishment!” he said. “By the grace and permission of God, the days when you pay the real price will come. Your wives and children will cry for their fathers and husbands just like the sons and daughters of this homeland did for theirs.”

Hate speech against Gülen movement supporters has been widespread in Turkey since the corruption investigations of December 2013. Erdoğan himself used such words as “terrorists,” “traitors,” “vampires,” “leeches,” “tumor” and “virus” to refer to them. He in fact developed a unique vocabulary of 240 hateful slurs and insults that singled out the Gülen movement and eventually declared that the followers of the movement “have no right to life.”

Erdoğan’s followers have frequently used hate speech in different mediums including TV programs. Muttalip Kutluk Özgüven, a professor of communications, said followers of the Gülen movement who were not convicted by the courts should be sent to rehabilitation camps and subjected to psychological treatment.

“Their bodies do not belong to them. They have to serve Turkey’s interests. So I can’t accept these people being against the state. We have not used psychological methods on them,” he said in remarks that attracted widespread criticism on social media.

According to a statement from Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on February 20, a total of 622,646 people have been the subject of investigation and 301,932 have been detained, while 96,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup. The minister said there are currently 25,467 people in Turkey’s prisons who were jailed on alleged links to the Gülen movement.

 

 

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