Workers Party (TİP) deputy Barış Atay has urged OdaTV journalist Barış Terkoğlu to “take care of himself” after the latter was targeted by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Sept. 10.
“Please take care of yourself Barış Terkoğlu. This person [Soylu] is making people targets. We do not know who his aides are and on which streets they are present,” Atay wrote on his Twitter account.
Atay was attacked in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district early on Aug. 31. The attack came after Soylu said on Aug. 30 that Atay would be “a perfect rapist” following the deputy’s criticism of the minister over the release of sergeant Musa Orhan, who faces charges of raping a Kurdish woman.
Soylu in a similar way targeted journalist Terkoğlu on Sept. 10, by referring to him as “tramp.” “I call out to that tramp; I am not the man of someone like you, the man of the other; I am the man of this nation. It is also clear who you are, with whom you are hiring and whom you are serving as a servant,” Soylu said in a press statement.
The remarks came after Terkoğlu criticized the minister in an opinion piece, saying that Soylu had been for a while opposing an operation within the Interior Ministry ranks to purge alleged supporters of the Gülen movement. Terkoğlu said that the operation happened eventually “despite Soylu’s resistance.”
Terkoğlu was referring to the recent dismissal of 43 local governors from the Interior Ministry because of their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which Ankara claims was behind a failed coup attempt in 2016.
Terkoğlu was on Sept. 10 acquitted of charges of revealing state secrets over reporting on the death of a National Intelligence Agency officer. Terkoğlu was standing trial with seven others in the case.