Istanbul governor praises death in late night tweet

Istanbul governor praises death in late night tweet

Istanbul governor praises death in late night tweet

Gov. Mutlu's sentimental tweets are in marked contrast to his iron-fisted handling of protests in Istanbul.

Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu has again caused a stir on the Turkish Twittersphere, posting a Shakespearean late-night tweet that both praised and challenged death.

“Death is like a homecoming. Why should it fear those who can look into the depths of the land, the sky and the soul? I love you death,” read the tweet posted on Mutlu’s official Twitter account in the early hours of Sept. 11.

Mutlu has nearly 934,000 followers on the microblogging website and has gained a reputation for posting humorous and baffling tweets, particularly during last year’s Gezi protests.

His most famous tweet is perhaps the one he posted early on June 9, 2013, when he addressed the protesters occupying Gezi Park in central Istanbul: “Young people; I’ve heard there is a peaceful morning in Gezi Park with birdsongs, the smell of linden and the sound of bees buzzing; is it true? I’d like to be with you.”

The tweet was particularly surprising as the governor is officially head of the city’s security forces, which at the time were clashing daily with protesters across Istanbul.

Mutlu also published a video on June 3 this year in which he recited Nazım Hikmet’s poem “I Love You,” to mark the anniversary of the death of Turkey’s most acclaimed communist poet. A similar earlier video was shot in which Mutlu sat in front of an orange tree and read a poem by Ahmed Arif, another leftist poet.