Turkish citizen removes ‘Islam’ from ID card, receives death threats

A self-described atheist from the southeastern province of Adıyaman has been forced to leave his hometown after receiving death threats for removing the term “Islam” from the religious affiliation section of his national identity card.

The threats began on May 21, with the young man, identified only by the initials E.F., receiving two letters containing death threats and his house being marked.

Fearing for his life, E.F. appealed to the Adıyaman branch of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD), which filed a criminal complaint in his name.

He subsequently decided to leave Adıyaman for the neighboring province of Gaziantep, where started to live with his uncle.

However, the threats continued when E.F. visited Adıyaman with his uncle on June 13 for the funeral of his grandfather.

Upon his return to Gaziantep, E.F. found another letter containing a verse from the Quran written in Arabic and a sentence written in Turkish below that read “We are entitled to your blood.”