BERLIN — The leader of Germany’s Green Party, Cem Ozdemir, is under police protection following death threats received in the wake of the German Bundestag’s vote to recognize the Armenians Genocide, the Die Welt reports.
“We are thoroughly used to abuse and insults, but we have never experienced such a high number of death threats,” the head of Ozdemir‘s office Marc Berthold told Die Welt.
Green Party leader Özdemir, a German-Turk, was one of the people who initiated the voting of the resolution and he stated that, “Germany’s complicity to the genocide doesn’t mean that we should support the ones who deny the genocide today.”
Ozdemir said that extremists were not unique to Germany. “Right-wing radicalism is not a German privilege. Unfortunately it also exists in Turkey and among German Turks.”
Most death threats come from Turkish nationalists. “I will come to Germany and kill you,” one man tweeted. Another twwet reads: “We should honor this loose assimilated German Cem Ozdemir with a shot in the head.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also criticized Özdemir. “And who is the leader of this scandalous development? I won’t say from which city he is, because there are people who are from the same city right now. They would be upset. He is from Turkey, but I cannot call him “Turk”. Why? Because someone who has Turkish blood cannot accuse this nation for genocide.”
The Berlin police have increased their presence around Ozdemir‘s flat and all threats, whether they arrive with flyers, mail, e-mail or Twitter, are now forwarded by Ozdemir office directly to the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany and analyzed there.