Panel to be attended by notorious killer of Turkish journalist canceled after reactions
ISTANBULA panel attended by Mehmet Ali Ağca, the killer of prominent journalist Abdi İpekçi and attempted assassin of Pope Jean Paul II - in the Bayrampaşa district of Istanbul, on a street named after the journalist he killed in 1979 – has been cancelled after angry reactions.
Organized by local news website bayrampasagazetesi.com, the panel titled “Islam: The Only Remedy as Humanity Collapses and Doomsday Approaches,” was scheduled to be held on May 13 in front of the municipality building, which is located on Abdi İpekçi Street, named after the killed Milliyet editor-in-chief.
According to daily Cumhuriyet, the news portal announcing the event described Ağca as “the Turk who proved to the world the Turk’s determination and outstanding courage by attempting to assassinate the Pope.”
Hours before the event was due to start, journalist Nedim Şener said in a tweet that the municipality had canceled the event, quoting Deputy Mayor Yalçın Sarıkaya.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Bayrampaşa district organization had been planning to protest the panel, after the announcement sparked outrage on social media.
Ağca killed İpekçi in front of his apartment in Istanbul while the latter was returning home from his office, an attack that triggered a wave of unresolved murders of journalists in Turkey.
He later attempted to shoot Pope Jean Paul II in 1981 after escaping from prison. The pope was injured in the attempted assassination, later saying he had forgiven Ağca.
Ağca was released from prison in 2010.