French journalist files complaint over death threats from ‘Erdoğan supporters’

A journalist and second-generation Turkish immigrant in France has filed a criminal complaint over what she says are death threats from supporters of the Turkish government, the Times reported on Tuesday. 

Claire Koç says she is accused of betraying Turkey in response to her book detailing her integration into French society.

Some backers of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are going as far looking to locate her home over statements in her book “Claire, Le Prénom de la Honte’’(Claire, the Name of Shame), with, the Times said, citing Koç.

The journalist, who works for French state-broadcaster France Télévisions, says her narrative in the book on adopting a French nationality and lifestyle and desire to distance herself from her Turkish roots was met with insults and threats, particularly on social media.

Some social media users even went as far as depicting her as a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Koç said, referring to the armed group that has led almost four-decade long armed insurgency against the Turkish state.

“By alleging that I am a Kurdish terrorist, these crazy ultra-nationalists have stuck a target on my back,” Koç said. “It’s scary because there is no end to it.”

Koç’s lawyer Maître William Goldnadel, said the threats were very “worrying” and included attempts to locate the journalist.

The journalist has received support from French politicians, including from Sen. Valérie Boyer.

It was “intolerable that she has been harassed because she loves France too much,’’ Boyer said. “How long are these threats going to continue?”

Erdoğan supporters have been accused of targeting critics of Turkey and its government in Europe over the past few years.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported earlier this month that over 20 German citizens of Turkish origin, who criticized the Turkish government, have received threats in the first three months of 2021.

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