May 24 2019

RSF representative denounces attacks on journalists in Turkey

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu on Friday condemned an attack against a Turkish journalist in the southern city of Adana.

"#HakanDenizli, the founder of Adana Egemen newspaper, was assaulted with a gun when he was leaving his home; he is injured. We condemn fiercely this attack as well as the other previous three acts of violence in two weeks," RSF Turkish quoted Önderoğlu as saying.

Denizli is the fourth journalist reported to have been assaulted in Turkey in May.

The chief editor of the southern Turkish regional Güney Haberci newspaper, Ercin Çevik, was assaulted on May 20, after reporting on suspected corruption in the local government.

Another assault targeting journalists took place on May 16 in southern Antalya, where a journalists’ association said the local head of the ruling party-allied far-right Nationalist Movement Party had been threatening journalists.  İdris Özyol, a columnist for Akdeniz Yeni Yüzyıl newspaper, was beaten by a group of men outside his office.

Earlier on May 11, Yeniçağ columnist Yavuz Selim Demirağ was attacked by a group of five or six people with baseball bats in Ankara.

Freedom of the press has been on the decline in Turkey under the ruling Justice and Development Party government. Hundreds of journalists have been accused of having links to terrorism, and Turkey remains "the world’s leading jailer of journalists", according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.