Turkey: Tanrikulu receives wide support against lynching for his criticism of military
Many in Turkey have expressed support for Kurdish deputy Sezgin Tanrikulu who has recently been targeted for his criticism of the Turkish military by political figures including his party's spokesperson and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
After Tanrikulu said in a live broadcast that "the practices of Turkish armed forces should not be exempt of criticism," and noted that it was the Turkish military that staged the coup d'etat in 1980, burned down villages and killed people in extrajudicial executions throughout the 1990, and was more recently involved in the coup attempt in 2016, President Erdogan targeted him saying "insulting and slandering remarks about Turkish Armed Forces will not go unpunished."
Faik Oztrak, the spokesperson for the Republican People's Party (CHP), also reacted to Tanrikulu's criticism, saying his remarks are "unacceptable."
The hashtag "Sezgin Tanrikulu yalniz degildir" ("Sezgin Tanrikulu is not alone") became trending on Monday as many people, poets, musicians, lawyers and scientists among them, expressed support for the deputy.
Poet Murathan Mungan said:
"We should support more fiercely than ever those who know how to stand their ground in a chaos in the midst of which so much truth, principle, conscience and moral is lost."
Lawyer and rights defender Nurcan Baysal said:
"Sezgin Tanrikulu is a precious human rights defender. He is so much more than what CHP deserves. And he shall never be alone!"
Writer Hilal Nesin said:
"CHP will be responsible for anything that will befall Sezgin Tanrikulu. They do not only deny him support, but they lynch him and do their best to make sure he will share Tahir Elci's fate."
While CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has remained silent to the accusations targeting Tanrikulu, CHP deputy Yuksel Taskin was among the very few party figures who expressed support for him. He said:
"Sezgin Tanrikulu only voiced criticism without insulting anybody. The hypocritical lynching culture targeting him is the work of government trolls."
Former deputy Mehmet Bekaroglu, a psychiatrist by profession, was another CHP figure expressing support:
"Sezgin Tanrikulu is not merely a politician but one of the prominent human rights defenders in Turkey. He did not insult Turkish Armed Forces, only voiced his opinion. Tanrikulu is the last person in this country who would incite hatred among people. His indictment and the lynching he has been subjected to is unacceptable."