HDP’s Paylan warns against assassination plans targeting critical Turkish citizens in Europe

Garo Paylan, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy and a member of Parliamentary Commission for Planning and Budget, has stated on Wednesday that he has got reliable intelligence over possible assassination plans targeting the critical Turkish citizens living in European countries.

Releasing a written statement on the issue on Wednesday, Paylan has warned that a plan has been prepared for a possible attack against the representatives of Alevi and Armenian communities living in Europe and the dissident journalists, writers, academics and opinion leaders who had to leave the country. Paylan has emphasized that he has confirmed the information he received last week.

According to a report by pro-government CNN Türk TV, Paylan also said that he had informed the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT), police and government about three hitmen prepared to carry out the assassinations.

“These journalists and academics have been labeled as ‘traitors’ by the government, the president and media. Such discourse and contradictions in politics unfortunately trigger action by certain groups,” said Paylan.

Underlining that the gravest side of this intelligence is the knowledge that the group, which is planning the attack dissident figures, is originating from Turkey, Paylan has said in his written statement that “I have got tips that we are facing an open threat against the people which will create sensation. Security units in Europe have bene informed and they have implemented serious measures in the light of this information.”

“Regarding this grave danger, I have warned the (Turkish) government and its related institutions to take the necessary precautions and to contact with their European counterparts in order to ensure the safety of our citizens in Europe,” said HDP deputy Paylan and added that “This is a very serious incident. We are talking about execution units organised by the dark hands in Turkey to commit armed assassinations. The government should fulfil its duties to not add new ones to the past killings…”

Paylan has also asked “Whether the aim of this plan is to show to the intellectuals, who can not write and speak freely in their own country, ‘Wherever you are, we can silence you!’ Or did the deep (state) forces act to take advantage of this climate again?”

Paylan has concluded that “After all these developments, I call on those people from Turkey who have to live in Europe to be sensible and careful and I invite the government and relevant institutions to take responsibility.”

Paylan has also said “This intelligence has been taken seriously primarily by Germany but also by many other European countries. They have mobilized their intelligence services, and certain people and groups have been taken under protection.” Despite questions from reporters Paylan did not share details of the intelligence sources or the names of the targets.

Paylan’s statement came days after Erdoğan and pro-Erdoğan journalists threatened Gülen movement members in Turkey and in exile. Amid an ongoing witch-hunt targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on people last Saturday to not show mercy to the members of the movement, saying “the pitiful will be pitied,” the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“I am calling on those who are part of this structure [Gülen movement]. Will you still not leave it? I am saying this clearly: If you are pitiful, you will be pitied. There are thousands in prison,” Erdoğan said during a public rally in Yalova province.

Pro-government Yeni Şafak daily columnist Hikmet Genç, a staunch supporter of Erdoğan, said that followers of the Gülen movement would soon not be able walk freely in the US, threatening them by saying, “Don’t rest at easy at night.”

“We will destroy them all here in our time, God willing. They will be buried like dogs among crosses [Christians] in places like Pennsylvania. They will not be able to find an imam to recite [the final prayer at their funeral]. They will be buried in the land of infidels. There is no place even for their coffins here. I won’t accept it. Their coffins should be burned. I have no respect [for their dead],” he said.

On Tuesday another pro-Erdoğan columnist, Cem Küçük, along with journalist Fuat Uğur said Turkish intelligence should kill family members of jailed Gülen followers in order to turn the inmates into operatives for the Erdoğan regime.

He also talked about excuses about probable deaths of Gülen followers such as traffic accidents, suicides, mass suicides, death from excessive alcohol use, death from overdose, jumping off a bridge due to debt and health problems.

Erdoğan and his government launched an all-out war against the Gülen movement following corruption operations of December 2013 in which the inner circle of the ruling AKP government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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