Murdered journalist Metin Göktepe commemorated with ‘Je Suis Charlie’ banners
Metin Göktepe's mother, Fadime Göktepe, holds a banner in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, as friends gathered around his gravestone. DHA PhotoPhotojournalist Metin Göktepe, who was beaten to death while in police custody, was commemorated on the 19th anniversary of his death on Jan. 8, with family and friends holding banners in support of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a day after the attack on its Paris headquarters killed 12 people.
Göktepe’s colleagues gathered at his grave in the suburban Istanbul district of Esenler and condemned violence against journalists, arguing that converting media workers into targets is the reflection of a “similar barbaric mindset.”
“This is why we say ‘We are all Charlie.’ We respectfully commemorate all who have died in the attack,” said Fatih Polat, Publishing Manager of daily Evrensel, the newspaper where Göktepe was working when he was killed.
Journalist Ahmet Şık also stressed that, just like Uğur Mumcu in 1993 or Hrant Dink in 2007, Göktepe was one of dozens of journalists murdered by the state or its extensions during the 1990s.
“There is no difference between the mindset that killed our Kurdish colleagues before him, or the one that killed Uğur Mumcu and Hrant Dink, or even the one that took the life our colleagues in Paris,” Şık said.
Many of the attendants held signs saying “Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) as the statements were read.
Göktepe's mother, Fadime Göktepe, was also present at the ceremony, as well as the mother of 15-year-old Gezi victim Berkin Elvan, Gülsüm Elvan. Speaking at the event, Elvan touched on the death of a 14-year-old shoe-shiner in the southeastern city of Cizre a few days ago, allegedly during a police crackdown.
“Journalists are still being killed; Children are still being killed,” Elvan lamented, days after her late son would have turned 16.
Göktepe was detained on Jan. 8, 1996, while on his way to cover the funeral of four prisoners who had been killed in Ümraniye prison. In an effort to prevent people from attending the funeral, police took extraordinary measures to capture close to 1,000 mourners, taking the detainees to Eyüp Sports Hall.
When Göktepe reportedly identified himself as a journalist, police allegedly said he should “be shown special treatment,” after which a group of seven to eight officers allegedly beat him to death in the basement of the arena. Six policemen responsible for Göktepe’s death were sentenced to seven years and six months in prison, but were released after 17 months.