Police protection beefed up after minister is threatened with rape

The Flemish justice, energy and tourism minister Zuhal Demir (Flemish nationalist) is receiving increased police protection following the receipt of a threatening email in the Turkish language.  Ms Demir is of Turkish Kurdish heritage.

Belgian law enforcers are taking the threats seriously.  Belgian prosecutors have stated an investigation. The minister’s spokesman suspects the threats are linked to a number of recent pronouncements the minister made about Turkish Diyanet mosques.

In the electronic message Ms Demir is threatened with rape if she does not shut up.  Following a new decision by Flemish home affairs minister Bart Somers (liberal) on the recognitions of local faith communities Ms Demir posted sharp words about Turkish Diyanet mosques on Facebook.  She spoke of “the long arm” of Turkish leader Erdogan and the “antennas of the Erdogan regime”.

Police are now trying to establish the identity of the person who sent the email.  The minister’s home has been placed under increased police surveillance.

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