Turkish-origin politicians get threats in Netherlands

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands 

Turkish-origin politicians in the Netherlands who were preparing for the European Parliament (EP) elections have received death threats, a lawmaker said here on Wednesday.

“They’re trying to scare us with threats,” Selcuk Ozturk, an ethnic Turkish lawmaker of the Denk [Think] Party, told Anadolu Agency.

Elaborating, he said threats like burning our house and hurting us in persons have been held to force Turkish-origin politicians to stay away from polls. “But we will not give up due to these threats,” Ozturk said.

On a more serious note, he said even from a member of parliament has issued a threat against us.

“A member of parliament Geert Wilders [Party for Freedom] threated to follow and hunt me out,” he said.

Ozturk said he has filed complaints with the authorities against these threats.

Denk Party’s Selami Coskun also stated that he received death threats on social media.

“It is very bad that a politician is not able to enjoy freedom of thought and expression. The freedom of a politician should not be restrained. All such efforts need to be eliminated,” he said.

Coskun, however, said he has also received messages from people expressing solidarity and anguish over such threats.

The EP elections will take place from May 23 to 26. Some 374 million EU citizens are eligible to choose their representatives, making these elections as one of the biggest democratic exercise after India.

Source: AA