A government minister has reported receiving death threats, together with her six-month-old daughter. Zuhal Demir is the federal secretary of state for equal opportunities, and also the offspring of Turkish immigrants of Kurdish background.
The revelation came while she was engaged in a debate with Erçan Tok, a member of the new party Be.One, set up by Islamic activist Dyab Abou Jahjah, organised in the run-up to elections in Turkey. Demir has been accused by other members of the party of being allied to the Kurdish separatist movement PKK, which is included in European lists of terrorist organisations.
Demir denies any connection with the organisation. “I won’t stand for it any more,” she told the gathering, and described how she and her infant daughter had received death threats. “This is what I mean by the negative influence there in Turkey and which is also felt here in Europe.”
Demir now intends to bring a criminal complaint against her principal accuser, Hatice Kör. In the meantime she has completed an application to renounce her Turkish citizenship. “I have signed the formal papers, but the final decision is a political one for the Turkish government, so we’ll have to wait to see what happens.”
Last year a court in Liege sentenced a man who six months in prison after he made death threats to the minister.