German gov't deepens investigation into 'execution lists' of Erdoğan critics

The German government has for the first time made a statement with regards to the so-called execution lists including the names of Turkish individuals critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying the investigation was “deepening.”

This collage photo shows Turkish journalists Erk Acarer (L), Celal Başlangıç (C), and former HDP MP Hasip Kaplan.

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The German government has released a statement for the first time regarding the so-called execution lists including the names of Turkish individuals critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his administration, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported on July 27.

In response to a parliamentary question submitted by MP Helin Evrim Sommer of The Left Party, German Deputy Interior Minister Helmut Teichmann said that the investigation was “deepening." 

Indicating that the German government has not so far “a concrete list” in hand, Teichmann said: “There are signs of the existence of different lists in which names of people who are critical of the Turkish government are included.”

The statement came a day after the German Foreign Ministry told Deutsche Welle that Berlin was “supporting freedom of speech and press worldwide and condemning every kind of violent incidents against journalists.”

“It should be secured that no one living in Germany – whatever the motive is – is exposed to violence,” the German Foreign Ministry said on July 26, adding that Berlin has “several times” in the past supported the rights of Turkish journalists.

On July 24, German Journalists Association (DJV) urged German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to summon the Turkish ambassador to discuss recent attacks carried out against Turkish journalists living in Germany.

The DJV urged German authorities to ensure the protection of Turkish journalists, confirming the existence of an “execution” list of 55 Turks known for their statements critical of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

DJV Chair Frank Überall prompted Maas to take a clear stance in declaring that "a line has been crossed."

There has been no official response to the allegations from the Turkish government so far.

Turkish journalist Erk Acarer was attacked by an armed group in his Berlin residence on July 7. Less than two weeks after this assault, on July 20, Acarer said that he found an egg wrapped in a sheet of paper that reads "You just wait" in Turkish in his courtyard. 

Artı Gerçek editor-in-chief Celal Başlangıç said on July 20 that the German police had warned him that his life was under threat.

Five days later on July 25, former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Hasip Kaplan announced that he had received a similar warning.