Dutch journalist receives death threats for telling Erdoğan’s son-in-law to ‘get out of Kurdistan’

Dutch freelance journalist Frederike Geerdink has reported that she received death threats after criticizing Selçuk Bayraktar, the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a key figure in Turkey’s drone industry, in a tweet, Turkish Minute reported.

Geerdink, who is known for her reporting on the plight of the Kurds, wrote “Get out of Kurdistan” in Turkish when retweeting a photo that Bayraktar had posted from the predominantly Kurdish province of Hakkari.

Her tweet sparked a wave of online attacks and threats, particularly from Bayraktar’s supporters and Turkish ultranationalists, who have always opposed Kurdish independence movements.

“It got even more crazy after Selçuk himself, who has almost three million followers, retweeted my tweet,” Geerdink wrote on Medya News.

Bayraktar retweeted her tweet and commented in both Turkish and Kurdish: “This is Turkey. This is a country where Turks and Kurds have lived together in brotherhood for many centuries.”

Geerdink explained on X that she was subjected to violent attacks by Turkish ultranationalists for three days.

“I was under ultra heavy attack of Turkish ultra-nationalists for 3 days. I reported a few of the most dirty death threats to X and all of them were rejected. Weapons, body bags, ‘we’ll come and get you in Utrecht,’ all of that shit: fine in Elon’s gospel. Disgusting,” she tweeted.

Geerdink has reported extensively on Kurds since 2006 and lived in Diyarbakır, a Kurdish-majority city in Turkey, from 2012 until she was deported in 2015 for “terrorist propaganda.”

In an article for Medya News, she reiterated her criticism of Bayraktar’s actions and compared it to Israeli military behavior in Gaza, highlighting the severe impact on the Kurdish civilian population.

Geerdink condemned Bayraktar’s social media post celebrating the military successes in the Kurdish areas and accused him of celebrating the oppression and killing in Kurdistan.

“You know what it [Bayraktar’s photo] immediately reminded me of? Of Israeli soldiers who are currently carrying out a genocide in Gaza and are celebrating the human rights violations they commit on a daily basis against Palestinians. I’m sure you’ve seen the images of Israeli soldiers mockingly wearing the women’s lingerie they find, or riding Palestinian children’s bikes, or cheering when they blow up a mosque, house or university,” Geerdink said.

“In essence, what Bayraktar does is no different.”

For her, Kurdistan is occupied, “like Palestine.”

“And Selçuk is a representative of the occupying power who is co-responsible for the deaths of many people is proud of the suppression and killing he contributes to. Bayraktar’s drones have killed many PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] fighters and civilians – yes, also Kurdish civilians, mainly in Başur (Kurdistan in Iraq), have been killed by Bayraktar drones.”

According to Geerdink, the fighters of the outlawed PKK, which is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies, may be seen as legitimate targets in their war against the Turkish state, but this “doesn’t change the fact that the PKK members are children of Kurdistan.”

“Bayraktar is celebrating the death of the children of the land where he squats next to a flower that is symbolic for Kurdistan and to many represents martyrdom,” she adds.

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