Dismissed mayor of Çaldıran threatened with death

HDP politician Faruk Demir, deposed mayor of the Çaldıran district in Van, receives death threats on the social media.

While the suppression of the Kurdish and left opposition in Turkey continues, fascist circles feel encouraged by the government policy and send death threats to politicians.

One of those concerned is Faruk Demir, who was elected mayor in 2014 and 2019 in Çaldıran district in Van province. Both times he was removed from office by the Ministry of the Interior and was replaced by a trustee appointed by the government to take over the local administration.

The HDP politician has received several death threats on the social media. The messages come from accounts called "JITEM" or "Kod adım Yeşil" (My code name is Yeşil). JITEM is the name for the informal secret service of the Turkish military police, which is responsible for at least four fifth of the unidentified murders in Northern Kurdistan. Its existence was denied by the state for years. "Yeşil", real name Mahmut Yıldırım, was a contract killer of the "deep state". The short messages to Faruk Demir include "You will die." On Wednesday he was sent a photo of a Kalashnikov rifle.

Demir remains active in the HDP. He announced that he received a message inviting him to a meeting, which he refused. It is unclear who is behind the obscure accounts. The HDP politician wants to take the threats to court. He recalls that thousands of people who have committed themselves to democracy have fallen victim to the so-called "unidentified murders": "I am a surviving witness of the 1990s and will continue to participate in the fight for democracy. I will not be intimidated by these methods. We are fighting for a democratic Turkey, a dignified life and a free country where universal human rights apply. I will not be dissuaded."

According to Demir's lawyer, Erhan Çiftçiler, the death threats are being made in an organized fashion. He demands that those concerned be identified.