October 6, 2023

06.10.2023 – Turkish Journalist İsmail Arı Faces Dead Threats

Journalist İsmail Arı’s safety is at risk as he received several online death threats in the past months about what he informed the Turkish authorities, but they did not respond till today.

İsmail Arı, born 1996, and since 2019 reporter for the leftist daily Bir Gün (https://www.birgun.net/), informed on 19 September 2023 the public over one social media platform, that he had been targeted with death threats, but prosecutors had not initiated investigations into his criminal complaints.

Ari received for his reports three awards from the Istanbul Medical Chamber (ITO), one award from the Ankara Medical Chamber (ATO) and one from the Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC). The authorities sentenced him to 1 year and 8 months deferred sentence in prison in 2022.

His troubles began when he started reporting on the activities of an Islamist group in southern Türkiye / Turkey following a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 6 February 2023. The earthquake resulted in the deaths of at least 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

Arı disclosed that most of the threats came through two popular social media.

Despite Arı and his lawyer filing several complaints for insults and threats, Istanbul prosecutors rejected them.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the ongoing threats against Turkish journalist İsmail Arı. We call upon Turkish authorities to take immediate and effective measures to investigate these threats, ensuring the protection of İsmail Arı and all journalists in Turkey facing similar risks. Press freedom and the safety of journalists are fundamental pillars of democracy, and they must be upheld at all times.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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