The recent shooting incident involving journalist Azim Deniz ( @azim_deniz ) in Kayseri, Türkiye / Turkey, on 5 February 2024, has sent shockwaves through the media landscape, highlighting the precarious situation faced by journalists in the country.
Deniz, who is the editor-in-chief of Deniz Postası (https://www.denizpostasi.com/), was targeted in a brazen attack in front of his home, sustaining severe injuries to his leg and abdomen. This reprehensible act of violence against a journalist has sparked widespread outrage and condemnation from media organizations worldwide, shining a spotlight on the escalating threats faced by journalists in Türkiye / Turkey.
A video from hospital with Deniz after the attack is online: https://twitter.com/i/status/1754627204103770265
Deniz’s previous encounter with violence in April 2022, when he and a guest in his studio were attacked. A group of between 40 and 50 individuals raided the office and studio of the Deniz Postası TV broadcaster in Kayseri, Türkiye / Turkey on 9 April 2022, assaulting journalist Azim Deniz and his guest, a local businessman and politician. The attackers trapped journalists inside the newsroom and proceeded to the studio, where they physically assaulted his guest and Deniz, who intervened to protect his guest. Despite the subsequent arrest of six suspects by police, Deniz has not received updates on the case, highlighting the need for accountability and improved protection for journalists in Türkiye / Turkey.
As Deniz recuperates in the hospital, the international community must continue to pressure Turkish authorities to hold perpetrators of violence against journalists accountable and to create an environment where journalists can work freely and without fear of reprisal. Protecting journalists is not only a matter of upholding democratic values but also essential for maintaining an informed and vibrant society.
On 6 February 2024, the alleged assailant who shot and wounded journalist Azim Deniz has been arrested and detained by the court. Following extensive investigations, police apprehended the perpetrator, identified as A.T. After undergoing necessary legal procedures and a health examination, A.T. was taken to court and subsequently remanded in custody pending further legal proceedings.
The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) calls on Turkish authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting, emphasizing the need to determine whether Deniz was targeted due to his journalistic activities and arrest all persons connected to the attack, including the person who ordered it. Such attacks not only endanger the lives of individual journalists but also undermine press freedom and the public’s right to access information.
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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