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Journalist receives death threat

(BIANET/IFEX) - Orhan Miroglu, a politician and writer for "Taraf" daily newspaper, received a death threat from an unidentified individual when he was on his way back to Ankara after promoting his latest book, entitled "Dead or Alive - Letters from Diyarbakir Prison".

Miroglu took the 9:00 p.m. flight from Istanbul to Ankara on 3 September 2010. He received the death threat via his cell phone at around midnight, when he had arrived at the Ankara bus terminal. An unidentified person called him and said, "You could die at any moment!"

Miroglu wrote about the incident in an article published in the daily on 6 September. He said he has received threatening e-mails from time to time, noting, "These sorts of e-mails are sent to me too. I am advised to come to my senses and think twice when I demand equal rights for the Kurdish people. This advice is usually given by people saying there are thousands of Ogün Samasts (the alleged gunman in the Hrant Dink murder case) in this country."

"But now I have received a death threat for the first time. Maybe it would have been better not to share this with my family, but it probably was best to tell them, so I did."

Miroglu gave assurances that he has no intention of stepping back out of fear. "Nothing will be the way these cowards are expecting or hoping for. I have no intention of taking a single step back from the place where I am," he said.

Several columnists were placed under police protection after the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink on 19 January 2007.

The Turkish Revenge Brigade (TIT) sent their most recent threat via e-mail to intellectuals who filed a criminal complaint at the prosecutor's office against former Chief of General Staff Ilker Basbug.

The TIT sent e-mails to Ufuk Uras, Oya Baydar, Mebuse Tekay, Ahmet Insel, Aydin Engin, Mithat Sancar, Cengiz Algan, Baskin Oran and Sezgin Tanrikulu, saying: "With the criminal complaint you filed at the Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office you signed your own writ of execution."

The TIT was involved in seriously injuring Akin Birdal, general chairman of the Human Rights Association (IHD), in 1998. They sent threatening messages to many people and institutions such as Professor Ibrahim Kaboglu, lawyer Eren Keskin, publisher Necati Abay, singer Ferhat Tunc and the Armenian "Agos" newspaper, and Ozgur Radio.

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