A man identified as Yusuf Ziya K. in a video posted on social media threatened to target government critics and opposition party voters if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) loses the upcoming elections.
“We will rid the country of filth [Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) voters] and start chaos if they emerge victorious from the elections,” he said. “We will turn the country into hell.”
Targeting in particular HDP voters, K. said he and his friends had a list of people who would vote for this party. “We know where these people live, their children and their daily routines,” he said implying that those people would be directly targeted in the event of an AKP loss.
K. said CHP leader and presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had promised to release jailed Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtaş from prison. He also promised to free jailed businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been accused of financing the 2013 anti-government protests and playing a role in a coup plot against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“If Kılıçdaroğlu wins the upcoming election and fulfills his promises, there will be hell to pay. These people are traitors, and they will pay for it. They will not be able to walk the streets in peace again,” he said.
Accusing HDP voters of sympathizing with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), K. said they would not allow them to take over the country. “We are also following journalists who are sympathetic to the PKK and HDP. They will also pay the price for pro-terrorist news coverage,” he said.
Journalists said K. was a member of SADAT International Defense Consultancy, a company linked to Erdoğan. SADAT, Turkey’s first domestic military consultancy firm and a paramilitary organization, was established by former Erdoğan aide Adnan Tanrıverdi and 23 retired military officers on Feb. 28, 2012.
According to SADAT’s founding documents, its mission is to make the Islamic world self-sufficient in terms of military power. Retired general Tanrıverdi said SADAT was set up at the request of officials from Erdoğan’s government.
According to Kilicdaroglu, SADAT is a threat to election security. “SADAT is a paramilitary organization. They used to be Erdoğan’s advisers,” he said in a previous statement. “This organization also trains [people] for unconventional warfare, namely sabotage, raids, ambush, destruction, assassination and terrorism. It’s an organization that trains terrorists.”
Social media users criticized Turkish authorities, saying K. should immediately be detained for openly threatening members of the public.