Turkish dissidents face assassination risk in Europe, says opposition deputy

HDP Istanbul deputy, Garo Paylan
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul deputy Garo Paylan had voiced his worries regarding information on assassination plans targeting Alevi, Armenian and Kurdish journalists, writers and academics who fled Turkey and sought asylum in Europe. An investigation has been started by Ankara Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor, regarding Paylan’s claims.
On December 20th, HDP member of parliament Garo Paylan said “a piece of information has been sent to me that some violent groups are in preparation of action targeting journalists, writers, academics, opinion-leaders primarily of Alevi, Armenian & Kurdish descent living in Germany and other countries in Europe. There is a perception operation in leadership of pro-government media putting these people on target and accusing them of treason for signing peace petition and speaking out. There are many examples of such actions in history. A Turkish movement has started plans to act on such examples unfortunately, according to the information that I have received.”

Upon Paylan’s statement, German security officers have confirmed plans of assassination attempts targeting Turkish-origin residents in Europe. After the information has been shared with members of press, European authorities have supplied protection for people under risk of such assassination attempts.

Paylan gave another statement later explaining that this movement has a group of people on their target names list, and said there are some names that come to mind when thinking of possible targets. Paylan also likened the three assassins to Ogün Samast, the murderer of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink who was shot in the back in 2007 in front of his newspaper.

Finally, Paylan added his increased concerns after hearing a pro-government writer on TV calling secret service and assassins to duty to act against “traitors”.

Garo Paylan has been called to give testimony at Ankara Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor regarding his claims that a Turkey-centered movement will conduct assassination attempts targeting critical voices of Turkish origin living in Europe.

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