A probe has been launched into public threats against the signatories of a petition calling on the Turkish government to end security operations in the country’s southeast upon complaints by lawyers.
The Ankara Public Prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into remarks made by Sedat Peker upon complaints from lawyers Döndü Ceren Şimşek, Yunus Yüce and Halil İbrahim Vargün after Peker said he would “take a shower” in the “spilled blood” of academics and intellectuals.
“We will spill your blood in streams and we will shower in your blood,” said Peker, a well-known convicted criminal, in a message posted to his personal website on Jan. 13, referring to academics. The message was titled “The So-Called Intellectuals, The Bells Will Toll for You First.”
“If you ask my opinion, you should not try to sink this state for your own health. The only reason that you are alive at the moment is the presence of the state and its survival. As I said in the aforementioned remarks, if the terrorists, you who are their supporters and foreign countries’ intelligence services - in sum, all of you - accomplish your goals and turn this state into a nonfunctioning situation, you should well know that you will never be shown mercy by the childeren of this homeland” Peker said.
Both the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) called on prosecutors to take legal action against Peker.
In October 2015, Peker held a “rally against terror” campaigning in favor of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Rize in the run-up to the Nov. 1 snap elections. At the rally, Peker said “blood will flow greatly” if the security forces “tire” in the fight against terrorism, saying he would lead the crowds at that point. An official investigation into the rally was launched upon the CHP’s reaction at the time.
Peker’s public threats came just a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan labeled more than 1,000 academics “poor excuses for intellectuals.”
Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also slammed the academics, arguing the signatories needed to issue a separate declaration if they did not embrace the acts of the terrorist organization.