Turkish state played a role in Hrant Dink Murder, German lawmaker says

Intellectuals who have fled Turkey to Germany are said to be under threat. Cem Özdemir, co-leader of the Green Party, thinks security could be improved and finds it unacceptable that parallel societies exist in Germany.

The comments come after Garo Paylan, a lawmaker of Armenian descent in Turkey’s parliament and a member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), revealed that Turkish academics, journalists and literary figures who have fled the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are in grave danger, particularly those who have come to Germany. Paylan says they could fall victim to attacks plotted out of Turkey.

Cem Özdemir said he had no information about the matter, but added that he wouldn’t be surprised “given that Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist and a good friend of mine, was killed by a 16-year-old in Istanbul — and it’s known that the Turkish state played a role in this murder.”

“Then you also see how Turkish dissidents are not only jailed, silenced or expelled but also intimidated and subjected to physical violence. Germany should be aware of this and above all else prevent the growth of separate societal structures,” the lawmaker said.

“I recently attended an event by Turkish-Armenian journalist and blogger Hayko Bagdat, who has become a well-known figure in Berlin. He wore a bullet-proof vest because he’d received credible death threats a day earlier. I think we must make it clear that Germany will not tolerate such a climate of fear. It’s bad enough that such fear already pervades Turkish society,” Cem Özdemir stated.

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