Pro-AKP columnist and Erdogan’s adviser threatens Hürriyet columnist with death

Ahmet Hakan is an anchorman at CNN International affiliate CNN-Turk and Columnist at Hurriyet Daily

ISTANBUL – A pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP) columnist and one of the Erdogan’s advisers in Turkey has issued a death threat to a columnist of daily Hürriyet, saying “we could crush you like a fly.”

“Like schizophrenia patients, you think you are still living in the days when Hürriyet was running the country. We could crush you like a fly if we want. We have been merciful until today and you are still alive,” Star newspaper columnist Cem Küçük said in his Sept. 9 article, addressing daily Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan.

In his article, Küçük claimed that Hakan had supported the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) before the June 7 election, in which the ruling AKP lost its parliamentary majority and the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) crossed the national election threshold to enter parliament.

“Ahmet Hakan was the chief propagandist of the PKK before the June 7 election. Everyone knows it. The Turkish nation has recorded all of this treason and he will surely pay for it heavily,” Küçük added.

During his live television show on CNN Türk after the appearance of the column, Hakan said he would file a criminal complaint against Küçük. He added that the Star columnist would be regarded as the “instigator of murder” if any Hürriyet journalist is attacked following his “provocations.”

After his threatening article drew negative reactions even from a number of AKP supporters, Küçük defended himself in a series of tweets on Sept. 9. “Everyone knows that I meant ‘civic death,’ but they are trying to criminalize [the article],” Küçük said, voicing “surprise” that his piece was also criticized by “fake religious people.”