Turkey: Far right leader slammed over insults to Kurdish historical figure

Turkey: Far right leader slammed over insults to Kurdish historical figure
Update: 17 August 2022 14:24
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Victory Party leader Umit Ozdag was blasted by several bar associations, NGOs and many Kurds after he insulted the historical Kurdish leader Sheikh Said on Twitter.

Victory Party leader Umit Ozdag came under fire by many Kurds on Twitter after he insulted the religious leader of a Kurdish historical rebellion.

During a discussion on social media, Ozdag called Sheikh Said “a dog,” saying “my grandfather Major Mikail took him to Diyarbakir to be hanged.”

In 1925, Sheikh Said revolted against the newly-founded Turkish state but was later captured and executed. The rebellion named after him is now remembered as the first large-scale nationalist rebellion by the Kurds in Turkey.

The Sheikh Said Association denounced the far right leader’s offense, saying the Kurdish leader is “the honour of a people.”

Kasim Firat, the grandson of Sheikh Said and the president of the association, told Rudaw that he will file a lawsuit against Ozdag for insulting his grandfather. 

Diyarbakir and Urfa Bar Associations also said they filed a criminal complaint against Ozdag. Many users on Twitter changed their profile pictures to Sheikh Said. 

The anti-immigrant leader Umit Ozdag is known in Turkey for his racist comments against the Syrian refugees. He repeatedly said if he was elected, he would immediately send the 4 million refugees back to Syria.