Turkish mob boss threatens rights advocate MP over criticism of far-right party leader

Alaattin Çakıcı (R) is seen with MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli.

Notorious Turkish crime boss Alaattin Çakıcı has threatened pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) lawmaker and rights advocate Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu on social media over his criticism of Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Turkish Minute reported.

In a speech at the Turkish parliament, Gergerlioğlu accused Bahçeli of defaming him and others by labeling them as “terrorists” and demanded that Bahçeli respect the constitution and the Constitutional Court after Bahçeli called for closure of the top court due to its decision to release a jailed lawmaker.

Bahçeli, during a party meeting, accused the Constitutional Court of favoring individuals he deemed associated with terrorism, including Gergerlioğlu, and former HEDEP deputies Leyla Güven, Figen Yüksekdağ and Can Dündar​​.

Gergerlioğlu also called Bahçeli out for mispronouncing his surname and challenged him to improve his Turkish language skills​​​​​​​​.

In response to Gergerlioğlu’s statements, Çakıcı posted a letter on social media written in poor Turkish, which included a direct threat to Gergerlioğlu and a defense of Bahçeli’s association with him and his proficiency in Turkish.

Çakıcı is known for his ties to MHP leader Bahçeli, an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and has been convicted of establishing and leading a criminal organization, ordering a murder, instigating an assault and insulting Erdoğan.

Following Bahçeli’s call for a general amnesty, specifically naming Çakıcı, the mob boss was released on April 16, 2020 after serving 16 years of his decades-long sentence, as part of a law allowing for the release of tens of thousands of prisoners to ease overcrowding in Turkish jails during the coronavirus pandemic while excluding political prisoners convicted on terrorism charges

Çakıcı has a history of targeting opposition figures. In 2011, he was sentenced for his threatening letter to Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the former leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), and in 2020, he threatened Kılıçdaroğlu again through social media​​​​​​.

Gergerlioğlu filed a criminal complaint against Çakıcı for his threats.

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