AKP youth leader threatens Turkish fashion designer critical of Erdoğan with death

The chairman of a youth branch of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to kill famous Turkish fashion designer Barbaros Şansal, who is known for his vocal stance against President Erdoğan, according to a report by online news outlet Artı Gerçek.

An activist for Turkey’s LGBT community, 60-year-old Şansal was expelled from Turkish-run northern Cyprus in 2017 following a social media post denouncing violence and corruption in Turkey. He was attacked by a mob on arrival in Turkey and arrested on charges of “inciting hatred among the public.”

He had spent some four months in the notorious Silivri Prison until being his release pending trial. He was eventually given  six months, 20 days in prison, upon which the designer left Turkey for Belgium.

Fatih Yakupoğlu, chairman of the AKP’s Kandilli-Kuleli youth branch in İstanbul, insulted Şansal on Twitter before threatening to “bathe himself” in the blood of the designer. Yakupoğlu’s Twitter account has since been suspended.

A man was caught on camera last week hurling racist insults and threatening Şansal at a restaurant in northern Cyprus. In the video a man wearing a white T-shirt is heard accusing Şansal of betraying Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC).

“You b*stard! You will apologize to the people of the KKTC. You are a disgrace to this nation. You can’t simply come back here and hang out  after all these things you said. You will answer to us for your ignominy,” the man

Şansal says nothing during the confrontation.

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