Fırat Sözeri, who had been interviewed recently by Medyanews about the ban on PhD’s being written in the Kurdish language in Turkey, stated that he was threatened by people who called themselves “nationalists”.
He stated that he had been threatened by them on social media due to his academic studies on the Kurdish language and history. He held a press conference at the Human Rights Association (İHD) Ankara Branch.
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Ağrı MP Abdullah Koç, HDP Party Assembly Member Doğan Erbaş, and İHD Ankara Branch co-chair Fatin Kanat attended the press conference.
Kanat stated that Sözeri had applied to the IHD due to the threats he had received. Sözeri, he noted, has been subjected to systematic threats and harassment because he is a Kurd. Pointing out that pressure, threats, and attacks against Kurds have increased in Turkey recently, Kanat said: “These attacks are supported with horrible statements in social media. The pressures against Fırat’s friend should also be seen within this framework”.
Sözeri stated that he has been followed and harassed for a year, and the attacks have increased in recent days. He was physically attacked by a group that introduced themselves as ‘nationalists’ on 30 March.
Sözeri stated that he “filed a criminal complaint about the people who attacked me. After that, they started harassing me on social media, not only me but also my wife. They also found my address. This harassment has continued like this for a long time but over the past week, the harassment and threats have increased. They have been keeping a watch in front of my house for two days.
“Yesterday, I went to them to ask why they were waiting outside. They were young and panicked and they started shouting at someone”, he said.
After he called the police, Sözeri claimed that the police arrived, knocked on his door, waited 30 seconds and then left before he could even meet them.
Sözeri said: “I know that Kurdish identity is seriously challenging to many people. Yes, I am Kurd and I will write the history of Kurds and write in Kurdish. These threats cannot stop me. I have an eight-year-old child. I am more worried about him than myself.
“If people feel I’ve exaggerated anything in my writings, let’s discuss it, but do not use young people to make such threats against me”.