As Turkish journalist Erk Acarer, who was physically attacked and assaulted in the yard of his Berlin home in Germany on the 7th of July, received a death threat less than two weeks later, the existence of a Turkish ‘hit list’ of 55 critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been revealed by the German police.
13 days after Acarer was assaulted and injured in front of his home in Berlin, a note reading “You wait!” has been left in his yard by unidentified people.
“The AKP-MHP government, their gangs and the German government who I believe has been passive in taking action are to be held responsible for anything new that may happen to me” Acarer wrote on Twitter.
Having multiple arrest warrants issued against him in Turkey for cases concerning his articles and social media messages, Acarer has been living in Germany since 2017.
The Global Network for Press Freedom of the International Press Institute (IPI) reacted to the incident in a tweet, saying, “Germany must hold those responsible for these attacks accountable.”
Meanwhile another self-exiled Turkish journalist in Germany, Celal Başlangıç, said that he was contacted by the German police and warned about a ‘hit list’ of 55 people.
Başlangıç, the editor in chief of Artı Gerçek and Artı TV, was visited by German police at his house in Cologne, to be warned that he might be faced with a serious threat due to the existence of a ‘hit list’ of 55 people, all political critics of the Erdogan administration.
Başlangıç said, “We’d known about a list of 21 people. Then there was information circulating about a list of 43 people, though the names on the latter were not revealed. The police visiting me at my house mentioned about a third list. They said there was a list for 55 people living abroad, all critics of Erdoğan, and my name was on it. We understood from what they said that there was an ongoing investigation into this. There’s also a legal case file ongoing. It seems like the German police are taking it seriously.”