Four journalists quit Turkish news site over accusations of violence against women

Four female journalists announced that they had resigned from Turkish news site Dokuz8 Haber over accusations of a former employee claiming she was exposed to violence in the workplace, Diken news site reported on Friday.

Dokuz8 Haber, known as one of the pioneers of citizen journalism in Turkey, was founded in 2014.

Journalist Şafak Timur, who formerly worked for the news site, said that she was a victim of violence at the hands of a male employee, while working for Dokuz8 Haber five years ago.

Timur’s accusations came after Turkish pop singer Sıla Gençoğlu filed last week a domestic violence complaint against her boyfriend, actor Ahmet Kural. The singer’s complaint created an outcry in Turkish social media and encouraged women to share their experiences.

“I hope the same for Dokuz8 Haber, which keeps on employing a person as a trainer although they know that this person used violence against me and which organises workshops on ‘gender equality and journalism’ form time to time,” Timur said, after Turkish bank Yapı Kredi announced that it had terminated its contract with Kural due to violence accusations.

Timur said that the news site’s founder had done nothing over the past five years against this person and she learnt that Dokuz8 Haber had employed her assaulter as a trainer in a gender equality training six months ago.

Timur also said that a female colleague of her, who had witnessed the incident five years ago, had to work in the same event as a trainer. 

The news site published a statement later, saying that they had  taken Timur’s accusations as an official notification and cut ties with the person who had resorted to violence.

Timur said that Dokuz8 haber acted slyly and dishonestly by covering the fact that the violence incident had been known for five years, adding that she was nevertheless happy that her female colleagues no more had to work with this aggressive person.

Four female journalists announced on Thursday they had decided to quit their jobs in Dokuz8 Haber to show solidarity with Timur.

Another former employee, Mehmet Şafak Sarı, also accused the news site on Friday, saying that Dokuz8 Haber made him work without social security and declined to pay overtime work and royalties. 

Sarı said that many other people were working in the news site illegally but this situation was not exposed due to Dokuz8 Haber’s founder’s relations with unions and professional organisations. 

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