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Turkish-origin politicians receive death threats in Netherlands

"They're trying to scare us with threats like burning our house and hurting us to force us to stay away from polls. But we will not give up due to these threats," Selçuk Öztürk, an ethnic Turkish lawmaker of the Denk [Think] Party, admited as speaking to Turkey's state-run news agency on Wednesday that Turkish-origin politicians, who are set to take part in the European Parliament (EP) elections, got death threats.

Turkish-origin politicians in the Netherlands who were preparing for the European Parliament (EP) elections have received death threats, a lawmaker said here on Wednesday.

"They're trying to scare us with threats," Selçuk Öztürk, an ethnic Turkish lawmaker of the Denk [Think] Party, told Anadolu Agency.

Elaborating, he said threats like burning our house and hurting us in persons have been held to force Turkish-origin politicians to stay away from polls. "But we will not give up due to these threats," Öztürk said.

On a more serious note, he said even from a member of parliament has issued a threat against us.

"A member of parliament Geert Wilders [Party for Freedom] threated to follow and hunt me out," he said.

Öztürk said he has filed complaints with the authorities against these threats.

Denk Party's Selami Coşkun also stated that he received death threats on social media.

"It is very bad that a politician is not able to enjoy freedom of thought and expression. The freedom of a politician should not be restrained. All such efforts need to be eliminated," he said.

Coşkun, however, said he has also received messages from people expressing solidarity and anguish over such threats.

The EP elections will take place from May 23 to 26. Some 374 million EU citizens are eligible to choose their representatives, making these elections as one of the biggest democratic exercise after India.

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