Academic who tweeted about strangling opposition deputy released

A man who tweeted about strangling main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu was released on Friday after interrogation at a police station following a complaint filed by the deputy.

Burak Doğan, an academic from Gazi University’s law faculty, had tweeted about strangling Tanrıkulu from an account with the handle @lokumu_ye while the two were on flight TK2143 from Ankara to İstanbul.

Doğan, who was sitting behind Tanrıkulu, a vocal defender of human rights in Turkey, had asked in a tweet whether he should kill the CHP deputy by strangling him.

Tanrıkulu, who shared the message on his Twitter account, wrote: “Look what the passenger sitting behind me on the plane just shared.”

“I am sitting behind Sezgin Tanrıkulu on the plane. Those asking me to kill him with a garrote will take care of me when I am in jail, like this message,” Doğan tweeted.

An investigation was launched into Tanrıkulu immediately after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the deputy for saying that civilians were being killed in attacks by armed drones.

Tanrıkulu is accused of insulting the government of the Turkish Republic with his statements about civilian deaths in drone attacks.

Erdoğan, who was speaking during a press conference on Friday ahead of a visit to Kazakhstan, blasted Tanrıkulu for his statements about civilians being killed by drones.

“One representative of the main opposition party appears and makes a statement about armed drones. He claims they shot civilians. Where are the civilians? Drones are killing terrorists. Our armed forces will continue their fight against terror and terror organizations. CHP representatives cannot stop it,” Erdoğan said, adding that he would expect the CHP leader to question whose side Tanrıkulu is on.

Following Erdoğan’s remarks accusing Tanrıkulu of supporting terrorists, the CHP deputy responded to Erdoğan in a tweet and said he had shared the names of the civilians killed by armed drones on Twitter.

Tanrıkulu said in his message Erdoğan might be attacking him because of a sense of guilt.

Erdoğan went further on Friday night during a live TV interview and accused Tanrıkulu of using the same language with terrorists. In a Twitter response, Tanrıkulu said his language was only of rule of law, conscience and a human being.

Meanwhile, pro-government columnist Fuat Uğur also recently targeted Tanrıkulu on Twitter and accused him of triggering a terrorist attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). (

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