Speaking at a panel in Berlin entitled ‘Journalists should be protected in Europe,’ exiled journalist Erk Acarer said, ”I think the Turkish government is indulged by European countries. If the European Union (EU) does not take these attacks seriously, there will be much more serious consequences,” he said.
Journalists Without Borders, the International Writers Association PEN – Germany Branch, the German Journalists Association (DJU), the German Journalists Unity (DJV), the German Book Publishers Association, the Research Centre Correctiv, the Peace Academics Association and the Germany-Turkey Cultural Forum co-organised a panel in Berlin, Yeni Özgür Politika reported.
In the panel discussions, details about the armed groups that are affiliated with Turkey and that are organising in Germany, the groups that are being either supported or overlooked by the German Government and also the details of the attack that led to the targeting of exiled journalist Erk Acarer were shared with the general public. Due to pandemic restrictions, many participants connected to the panel online.
Stating that the attack against him was carried out by gangs in Germany have links to the Turkish government, Acarer emphasized that the attack on him was also a political, not just a criminal, act. He accused MIT (Turkey’s intelligence service) in Germany and its paramilitary organisations, asserting: “We know that the perpetrators are connected to the Erdoğan government and the Interior Ministry.”
Noting that the attacks against the opposition between the years 2014-2018 were carried out through Osmanen Germania, Acarer said, “We know that the organisation was banned, but their ideas did not disappear.”
Stating that the attacks against the opposition were carried out by the Erdoğan regime and the Justice and Development Party – Nationalist Movement Party (AKP/MHP) alliance, Acarer noted that these attacks were not only targeting him: “I think that the Turkish government is indulged by the European countries. If the EU does not take these attacks seriously, it will have serious consequences. As long as the refugee agreement and arms deal continues, the pressure against us will continue. The issue is not the aggressors, but the chain of perpetrators.”
Acarer drew attention to the confessions of Sedat Peker, the leader of the illegal mafia organisation: “We also knew what Sedat Peker told us. Previously, the incident of the MIT trucks was reported by journalist Can Dündar and then he was attacked. We investigated further, after Peker’s statements, and uncovered the state’s connections with paramilitary forces and drug trafficking. That’s why they obliged me not to write and I was attacked for telling the truth.”
”The attacks will continue as long as the agreements between the states and the ‘relations of interest’ continue,” Acarer said. He called for solidarity: “Solidarity will keep us alive.”
Journalist Can Dündar also participated to the panel from home online, and he also spoke about the attack against his collegue Acarer.
“We know the attackers and the provocateurs. One message was for us, the opposition. They want the opposition not to write and to remain silent. Another message was from Erdoğan to Germany: ‘If I want, I can interfere in your country and you can do nothing, because you are dependent on me.'”
Another participant in the panel, Hüseyin Yılmaz, the former mayor of Ağrı, conveyed his message of solidarity with Acarer. Yılmaz emphasized that such attacks should be seen as a social attack. Drawing attention to the pressures against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in his speech, Yılmaz called for solidarity: “As the European Democratic Forces Union, we invite all democratic forces to fight together against attacks and to build a free life together.”