(Washington, D.C.) — The Turkish Democracy Project (TDP) calls on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to end the hostile criticism and acts of intimidation that target dissent carried out by the media outlets and social platforms he controls along with the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The TDP also calls on President Erdogan to investigate the cyberattack and death threats targeting the TDP on June 23, 2021 that originated from Turkey and involved perpetrators aligned with the extremist group, the Grey Wolves.

In a letter sent to President Erdogan, the TDP sheds light on Turkey’s drift away from the fundamentals of a democratic nation:

“Turkey is an important ally to the U.S. and European nations and historically has been a model in the region of liberal ideals. Under your leadership, however, Turkey has dramatically altered its course: its position in the international community has changed, and its status as a free and liberal democracy is in danger – all to the grave detriment of the Turkish people.”

“Our organization aims to systematically address these changes and bring to light the grave business and diplomatic risks associated with you, your closest associates, and the most powerful members of the AKP.”

“TDP welcomes criticism and debate from valid, individual actors, but will not stand for death threats and attempts at intimidation – particularly if they are directly or indirectly sponsored by a foreign government.”

To view a copy of the full TDP letter to President Erdogan, please click here.

“President Erdogan, his corrupt Oligarchs, and the AKP have fundamentally changed the identity of Turkey. What was a secular liberal democracy is now a ‘thugocratic’ state. He has brutally repressed dissent inside Turkey and abroad. Erdogan has overseen a rapidly declining Turkish economy. It is clear that he must change, or the people of Turkey will change their leadership in the next election—if it is free and fair,” said TDP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. “Unfortunately, the people of Turkey cannot always speak for themselves in the face of Erdogan’s brutal repression. The TDP will speak in solidarity with those that are silenced in Turkey and abroad.”

“President Erdogan is both a bully and a thief who has stolen the peace, prosperity and freedoms of the Turkish people,” said Frances Townsend, former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and member of the TDP’s Advisory Council. “He has threatened, intimidated, silenced and jailed his opponents and taken down what was an independent press. We at the TDP remain steadfast in our commitment to stand with the Turkish people and bear witness to President Erdogan’s brutal repression. President Erdogan’s threats and intimidation tactics will only strengthen our resolve to shine a bright light on his malignant narcissism and the kleptocracy he has created.”


The TDP was the target of a cyberattack and death threats after its launch on June 23, 2021. Immediately following the attacks, TDP commissioned an outside investigation to consolidate information and identify responsible parties. TDP referred the matter and the conclusions of its investigation to FBI Director Chris Wray and to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, asking them to initiate a full investigation of the sophisticated, multi-pronged cyberattack against TDP that included death threats directed at U.S. citizens working for and with the organization.

To view a full copy of TDP’s referral to Director Wray, please click here.

To view a full copy of TDP’s referral to Attorney General Garland, please click here.