Tweets from AKP MP who took part in Hürriyet protest show he had supported Al-Nusra
AA PhotoA Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy has stirred controversy on social media with an old tweet in which he showed support for an al-Qaeda-linked group, hours after he participated in a protest against daily Hürriyet in which the newspaper’s headquarters was pelted with stones.
Abdürrahim Boynukalın, an AKP MP and the head of its youth organization, had vowed in a fiery speech in front of the newspaper building which was attacked in Istanbul to “make Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the president” with extended powers - regardless of the result of the Nov. 1 election.
In his speech, Boynukalın targeted Erdoğan’s critics, claiming they supported the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and threatened to force journalists out of Turkey after Nov. 1.
Boynukalın’s own Twitter account came under scrutiny after the speech in which he praised “martyrs,” referring to Turkish security forces killed in recent PKK attacks.
In a tweet on May 26, 2013, Boynukalın wished “God help Al-Nusra” and voiced his pleasure to see “Nusra’s fame spreading” in another tweet on Aug. 7, as the al-Qaeda-linked group made gains in the war in Syria.
Praising the head of another group listed as a terrorist organization by both Turkey and the United States, Boynukalın had also posted positive tweets about Abdullah Öcalan, the PKK’s jailed leader. On March 21, 2013, he tweeted Öcalan’s latest message at the time had “moved” him.
“What do you want to waste peace for? At least be as principled as Abdullah Öcalan,” Boynukalın also tweeted on June 28, 2013.
Boynukalın’s controversial tweets extended beyond those about outlawed organizations. In other former tweets, he claimed Turkish soldiers were not as “honorable” as the comrades of Prophet Muhammad and said the Turkish army “exploited the status of martyrdom,” while also wishing for Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s statues to be demolished.