Writer Gülfer Akkaya receives death threats through social media

Opposition and critics of the AKP-MHP government continue to receive threats issued by racist-fascist groups supporting the coalition.

Feminist, researcher and writer Gülfer Akkaya said that she received death threats through messages from an Instagram account named Jitem.Turkey / KodAdım: Yeşil.

The messages said things like "Şewbaş, death will find you, Jitem".

Akkaya, who filed a criminal complaint in the Istanbul Courthouse on 4 June, talked to ANF about the threatening messages she has received.

When did you start receiving threat messages?

I started receiving them on Sunday, 31 May at 2.15 pm. And I continue to receive them.

Had you ever received such messages before?

Yes, I did. Is anyone not receiving them actually?

How do you generally use your social media accounts?

I share news, songs, caricatures, photographs I have taken, as well as my own photographs and comments on current events. I am a writer, I also write about my published books and share articles I published in different media. I share news about the actions I join. I share whatever I want. My accounts reflect my way of being.

What do you think of death threats issued through social media?

I think these are not coincidences or isolated. The language they use, account names, symbols are common. As everyone mentioned, you can avoid trolls. These are people who do whatever you asked them to do for three cents. There are a lot of people like that. But those who use them will then dump them when they are not needed anymore. The person threatening Rakel Dink was caught and imprisoned. These people end up like this. Because they commit a crime.

What do you feel?

I didn’t feel much actually. Personally, I also have a lot of work. The Parliament opened. We fight against children marrying at the age of 12, we fight for the law against male violence, we had to deal with this while continuing our works about Alevi women's problems. We dealt with these kinds of threats recently because it is clear that they come from the same place. And the government ignores them. Once again I want to ask the Ministry of the Interior and the government why are they silent. Don't they hear us? Is this possible?

How do you interpret the fact that one account posting threats is called 'JİTEM'?

There are not one but many accounts. They aim to silence and intimidate people by frightening and threatening. There are so many accounts for this and they target so many people at the same time.

A threat email has been sent to the Hrant Dink foundation. JITEM, which killed people in the 90s, is now sending threat messages to people using this very same name.

Do you think they can be confident to act because nothing will happen? Where do they get this courage from?

I just mentioned that these are not individual attacks, these accounts are not individual accounts. The government encourages divisive and polarizing discourses, otherwise they would have been detected and punished already.