In recent days there has been a lot of speculation about a murder on a Kurdish man in Turkey’s Sakarya province. Allegedly 43 year old Kadir Sakci was murdered because of his Kurdish ethnicity. Several prominent media and celebrities in Turkey spread the allegation that he was murdered because of his Kurdish background. The brother of the murdered man came forward with the true story promting this factcheck.
Claim: the sixteen-year old Burhan Sakci and his father Kadir Sakci were shot on the streets of Sakarya’s Hendek district for speaking Kurdish and/or being Kurdish.
Spread by: among those newspapers and prominents who spread the rumour about the alleged racist killing of Kadir Sakci were the famous singer Ferhat Tunc, CHP MP Sezgin Tanrikulu and newspapers kurdistan24, gazeteduvar, T24, Rudaw, DIKEN, the United Arab Emirates funded Gulenist newspaper Ahval and ARTI TV which was financed by a Dutch NGO to spearhead the HAYIR campaign in the 2017 referendum for constitutional change in Turkey. Other prominent Twitter accounts which helped spread the rumour were the crypto Gulenist account @Caapulcukiz (Simge Ekici) with 123.000 followers, @KurdisPhoto, the Gülenist Twitteraccount @TurkeyDeeply and lastly the newspaper Turkish Minute which was founded by former Zaman Vandaag Belgium editor Mete Özturk.
Factcheck: Burhan Sakci and father Kadir Sakci were assaulted by an armed man on the streets of Sakarya Hendek. While Burhan Sakci was wounded and survived the attack, father Kadir succumbed to his wounds and passed away. The event took place on the 16th of december but the story was only widely spread via Twitter from the 24th of december onwards. The murder had no racist motive according to the brother of slain Kadir Sakci, Fahrettin Sakci. According to Fahrettin Sakci people should not make this a matter of Turks versus Kurds. He says that he and his family did not experience any form of racism as a Kurd living in the city for over thirty years. Fahrettin Sakci refutes all claims and says his brother was not murdered because he was Kurdish. His nephew who was in the hospital told him that the murder was perpetrated by a drunk person.
The Mayor of Hendek concluded after initial investigations that there are no signs of this being a racist murder. The murderer of Kadir Sakci was apprehended and will stand trial for his crimes. The governor of Sakarya also has stated that misleading information on social media and published stories about the matter do not reflect the truth.
Conclusion: Other than the rumours on social media there is no evidence to support the claim that this was a racist murder. This rumour is believed to be FALSE.