Turkish ultranationalist group attacks opposition journalist's home

Memduh Bayraktaroğlu, a columnist for the opposition Karar newspaper, has announced that an ultranationalist group attacked his house late on Feb. 23. The journalist said that he believed the attack was organized by the group Grey Wolves (“Ülkü Ocakları”) and that it had been ordered by MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli.

Duvar English

A group of assailants with sticks in their hands and their faces covered on Feb. 23 raided the house of Memduh Bayraktaroğlu, a columnist for the opposition newspaper Korkusuz, in the southwestern province of Muğla, the journalist announced. 

“Tonight at 11:01 pm, a group of people with sticks, their faces covered with white cloth, came to the door of my house and said that they brought flowers. I asked for the florist's phone number. I got suspicious when they couldn't give a phone number and immediately called the gendarmerie,” Bayraktaroğlu tweeted after the incident.

“I said that a group of five-six people had raided my house and they wanted to break into my house by kicking my door. When I spoke loudly to the gendarmerie commander, they understood that I called for help and they all left our garden running. A short time later, the gendarmerie arrived,” he wrote.

Bayraktaroğlu is known for his political analysis videos that he shares daily on YouTube.

The incident came after the columnist was threatened by Ahmet Yiğit Yıldırım, the head of the ultranationalist Grey Wolves (“Ülkü Ocaklar”) tied to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

“Memduh, you scoundrel! Have no doubt that we will put you to the test in every lesson, explain it in a language you can understand, and walk you around the street with a leash around your neck,” Yıldırım had tweeted on Feb. 22, in remarks targeting the journalist.

Bayraktaroğlu said that he believed the attack against his house was ordered by MHP leader Bahçeli and that he would file a complaint against the politician.

“I am especially filing a complaint against the Grey Wolves head and MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli who ordered the raid against me. My evidence is the threat message that the Grey Wolves head sent to me,” Bayraktaroğlu said in his tweet.

The Grey Wolves have been in several European countries due to their constant attacks.