The PvdA website and MEP Kati Piri have today become the target of a DDoS attack. As a result, the partys site was flat from an hour or 3 p.m. this afternoon until approximately 7:30 p.m. The site of Piri, which is on spot 5 on the list for the parliamentary elections, was flat for longer, but is now online again.
Piri suspects that Turkish hackers are behind the attack, she says in a response. According to the PvdA, it is visible that the DDoS attack is coming from abroad.
Earlier this afternoon, a Turkish-speaking Twitter account announced the shutdown of the websites and then the attack was claimed by that account. Whether the person behind that account is really behind the attack is currently unclear.
Piri is a former Turkey rapporteur in the European Parliament and she regularly published critical reports on the state of Turkish democracy under President Erdogan.
“ It seems that this is an attack on my support for democrats in Turkey and my call for the release of political prisoners such as Selahattin Demirtas and Osman Kavala,” says Piri. Demirtas is a politician of the pro-Kurdish party HDP. He is in prison because, according to the Turkish Government, he supports terrorism.
Kavala is a businessman who, according to Turkey, was involved in the failed coup attempt in 2016. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Kavala should be released, but Turkey refuses to do so.
Since January, students from Bogazici University in Istanbul have been protesting against the appointment of a new rector. They see it as a political appointment by Erdogan. The protests led to riots that the police ended with tear gas and rubber bullets. Hundreds of students have also been arrested.
Piri also joined the students, including in a tweet. The Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Solu responded to this by saying: You are getting old with your ugly demands.
According to Piri, the attack on her site and that of the PvdA is “unprecedented and worrying”, especially given the timing: a month before the elections. “We will not be silenced by this kind of action.”