Middle East Forum Writing Fellow, Abdullah Bozkurt, an expatriate critic of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkish regime, is in danger after a regime-linked newspaper published photos of him, and his home address in Sweden, on its front page.
Regime authorities have earlier boasted of their desire to harm Bozkurt. Mesut Hakkı Caşın, a member of the Presidential Security and Foreign Policy Board, told CNN last year, “Turkish national intelligence will find Bozkurt, I’ll tell you that, I don’t know whether it will feed him to the fish or the sharks, but traitors always get their punishment”.
Bozkurt has written extensively on the regime’s internal crackdown; corruption; its ties with Iran, Hizbullah, al-Qaeda and ISIS; attacks in Iraq and Syria; and export of Islamism. Recently, he revealed the regime’s plans to provoke fellow NATO member Greece using clandestine operations. The investigative journalist was forced to flee Turkey after the alleged coup attempt in 2016, when today’s Zaman, where he used to work, was shut down. Bozkurt moved to his current address after he was brutally attacked and injured by three unidentified men outside his former home in Stockholm in September 2020.
Countless other Turkish journalists and dissidents have fled Turkey since 2016. Many have been forced back to Turkey against their will; others have been subject to assassination plots.
“This is part of an intimidation campaign to send a chilling message, not just to me but to all journalists, which is ‘Shut up or else’”, said Bozkurt. He added that Erdoğan’s intrusive spying has compromised his security and put his family’s safety at risk, but he refused to be intimidated, and he will continue my work.
“Such barbaric behavior is par for the course for Erdoğan’s regime”, said Forum founder and president, Daniel Pipes. “It threatens Greece, blackmails Sweden and Finland, invades Syria, bombs Kurds, and exports radical Islam globally. Let Turkey go to Russia and China. It’s time for a NATO 2.0 without it”, he further stated.