Why Erdogan Regime Wants To Kill This Turkish Critic

New Delhi | Updated: 14 October, 2022 8:26 pm IST
Journalist Abdullah Bozkurt was forced to flee Turkey after an alleged coup attempt in 2016.

The regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has tried to rake up the issue of Kashmir on several occasions, continues to harass and silence critics through coercion in Turkey – and abroad.

In such a recent incident, a pro-regime Turkish newspaper published private details about a dissident journalist, including photos of him and his residential address in Sweden, on its front page, putting his life at risk.

High-ranking officials of the Erdogan government have, in the past, openly threatened to eliminate Abdullah Bozkurt, who fled Turkey after an alleged coup attempt in 2016.

In an interview with the news channel CNN last year, Mesut Hakkı Casin, a member of the Presidential Security and Foreign Policy Board, called Bozkurt a “traitor”.

Bozkurt has written extensively on the regime’s internal crackdown; corruption; ties to Iran, Hizbullah, al-Qaeda and ISIS; attacks in Iraq and Syria; and export of Islamism. Just yesterday, he revealed the regime’s plans to provoke fellow NATO member Greece using clandestine operations.

“Turkish national intelligence will find (Bozkurt), I’ll tell you that … I don’t know whether (it) will feed him to the fish or the sharks, but traitors always get their punishment,” Casin had said, as per a statement issued by the Middle East Forum (MEF) where he is a writing fellow.

In the statement, Bozkurt said that the newspaper’s actions were a part of “an intimidation campaign” to send out a “chilling message” to him and other critics like him.

“Erdogan’s intrusive spying has compromised my security and put my family’s safety at risk. But I refuse to be intimidated, and I will continue my work,” Bozkurt said.

The investigative journalist was working for Today’s Zaman newspaper, which was shut down during the alleged coup attempt. He relocated to his current address in Sweden after he was injured in a brutal attack by three men outside his former residence in Stockholm in September 2020, as per the MEF.

Countless other Turkish journalists and dissidents have been forced to flee Turkey since 2016. Many of them have been forced back to Turkey against their will, while others have been subject to assassination plots. The few critics still residing in Turkey continue to be harassed and intimidated by the hardline Islamic dispensation.

Commenting on the matter, forum founder and president Daniel Pipes said: “Such barbaric behaviour is par for the course for Erdogan’s regime. It threatens Greece, blackmails Sweden and Finland, invades Syria, bombs the Kurds, and exports radical Islam globally. Let Turkey go to Russia and China. It’s time for a NATO 2.0 without it.”

The Middle East Forum promotes American interests in the region and protects Western civilisation from Islamism through a combination of original ideas, focused activism, and funding of allies, it declares on its website.

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