Bianet: A Least 8 Journalists Injured in Ahmet Atakan Protests

Several journalists were subjected to police violence in Ahmet Atakan protests across Turkey last night. At least 8 journalist were reportedly injured. Various journalist associations in Turkey protested.

A policeman pointing his gas bomb launcher at journalist Ahmet Şık at close distance on Tuesday in Taksim.

Several journalists were subjected to police violence in Ahmet Atakan protests across Turkey last night. While some were affected by various “demonstration agents” including pepper gas, rubber or paint bullets, other became direct targets of police violence.

Some of the reported injuries were as follows:

* Freelance journalist Ufuk Koşar found himself in clashes between protestors and police where he was battened by the police.

* Columnist Serdar Akınan wrote on Twitter that a policeman assaulted reporter Rabia Çelik by kicking with his head.

* Atlas magazine photographer Umut Kaçar was hit by a rubber bullet. Cumhuriyet newspaper reporter Ali Açar was seen dragged on the ground with policemen kicking.

* Cumhuriyet newspaper photographer Kaan Sağanak was hit by a rubber bullet from 2 meter radius.

* Doğan News Agency photographer Uğur Can and Anatolia Agency reporter Bülent Doruk  were assaulted by policemen.

* Evrensel newspaper Izmir correspondent Mete Ud experienced a temporary vision  loss due to water cannon.

* BirGün newspaper reporter Berna Şahin said on Twitter that police forces attempted to intervene her work.

Various journalist associations in Turkey protested police violence on journalists last night.

Journalist Association of Turkey (TGC) urged the officials to find those who are responsible.

“We are demanding authorities to launch investigations on those who block journalists’ work with shields and rubber bullets in Ankara, Izmir and IStanbul last night. We aree sending them our best speed recovery wishes. We are also urging them to file complaints so that police violence won’t go unpunished. We want them to know that we will do our best support their judicial struggle.”

Press Council (Basın Konsey), on the other hand, underlined that interventions on journalists’ work clearly violated press freedom and they would by no means accept it.

“We are anxiously the continuing police violence on journalists who already work under severe conditions to cover public event in the name of public right to be informed.

“We are urging officials to respect journalists’ right to be inform the public, and create the conditions that would ensure them to work freely.”

Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) urged all officials including Bülent Arınç and Muammer Güler – Vice PM responsible of media and Interior Minister respectively – to end police violence. (EA/BM)

BIA News Desk
11 September 2013