Egyptian TV presenter attacked in Istanbul
Fatma Aksu ISTANBULAn Egyptian presenter, working at one of the Egyptian stations broadcasting from Istanbul, was attacked at the station’s building in the city on Feb. 24.
Sayfa Serry, a TV presenter on the Al-Şark station, which the Egyptian government established after the 2013 military coup led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, accuses Al-Şark of broadcasting against it and supporting terrorism, was attacked by two people wearing balaclavas in front of the channel’s building in Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district.
The broadcasts by three stations - Aan, Rabia, and Al-Şark - which have allegedly called for violence and called on foreigners to leave Egypt, have aroused concern in Cairo. The stations reportedly called on foreigners to leave the country before an investment summit next month, saying they had received intelligence information that police and soldiers would be targeted and killed.
Serry fainted after she was hit in the head by two individuals wearing balaclavas outside the Al-Şark office building in Istanbul on the morning of Feb. 24. She was then locked in the basement of the building with her hands and legs tied.
Serry was found by her colleagues after seven hours when they heard voices coming from the basement.
In her statement at the police, Serry said she was being traced for some while and was receiving threat messages containing sentences as “we will kill you.”
Police have launched an investigation into the incident and are searching for the two unknown assailants.
Turkey and Egypt mutually withdrew their ambassadors from each other’s capitals last year amid tension following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in the 2013 coup staged by el-Sisi. Turkey has remained a vocal opponent to el-Sisi’s leadership, frequently directing accusations at the Egyptian leader.
However, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Jan. 21 that the two countries should come together and “discuss ways to find a mutual understanding,” describing Egypt as “the backbone of the Middle East.”
Morsi and several top leaders of his blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood are in custody and facing a series of trials on charges punishable by death.