VIDEO: AKP MP complains of ‘not beating’ Hürriyet journalists in past
ISTANBULA deputy from Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) who gave a fiery speech to a group of protesters attacking daily Hürriyet’s headquarters in Istanbul on Sept. 6 is seen threatening Hürriyet journalists and expressing his regret that they “never beat them in the past” in a newly-surfaced video.
“They had never had a beating before. Our mistake was that we never beat them in the past. If we had beaten them...” AKP’s Istanbul deputy and youth organization head Abdürrahim Boynukalın said in the video, mocking Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin and columnist Ahmet Hakan for their reactions as approximately 200 assailants smashed the newspaper building’s front windows with stones and clubs.
He also reveals in the video that he mulled over waiting for Hakan in front of his house to “pull him over.”
Less than 48 hours after the attack by pro-AKP protesters who retreated only after riot police came, the Hürriyet building was attacked by another group on Sept. 8.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Boynukalın as saying on Sept. 8 more “protests” would be staged outside media buildings, “if [those media organizations] express an attitude that whitewashes violence with biased reports.”
While all suspects of the Hürriyet attack were released, Boynukalın was elected to the bureau tasked with conducting procedures for the AKP congress on Sept. 12.
Boynukalın’s tweets in the past, including one in which he showed support for the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Nusra, stirred controversy previously.
As the two physical attacks targeting Hürriyet remained unpunished, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district launched a probe on Sept. 15 into the Doğan Media Group for “terrorist propaganda,” following a widely derided front-page story in the pro-government daily, Güneş.