Slain journalist Uğur Mumcu commemorated on 26th anniversary of his killing
Uğur Mumcu, one of Turkey’s most outstanding investigative journalists, was commemorated on the 26th anniversary of his killing on Jan. 24, with unanswered questions still lingering over his unsolved murder.
Many citizens and non-governmental organizations marched from the capital Ankara’s Batıkent metro station to the Uğur Mumcu Park, named after him following his assassination, and placed flowers on his monument.
“[Mumcu] was a prominent intellectual with his foresighted opinions and courageous news stories. He was a hero who dedicated his life to Turkey,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Jan. 24 on his Twitter account.
As he once said “I am against terrorism. I am the enemy of fundamentalists, thieves, profiteers and self-seekers,” Mumcu was a journalist known mainly for his valiant investigations into fundamentalism, corruption and terrorism.
A prominent writer for the daily Cumhuriyet, he investigated controversial issues, such as the PKK and Islamist fundamentalists, for which he had received many death threats.
Mumcu had been receiving death threats because of the many files he had been investigating — from the assassination attempt on the late Pope John Paul II by a right-wing Turkish gunman, to the relations of drugs and arms smuggling with the Kurdish issue, from the rise of the PKK to the rumored Iranian-Saudi links in political killings of the time.
He was killed in Ankara 26 years ago on Jan. 24, 1993. A bomb was planted under his car, which was parked in front of his house and exploded when he started the engine.
An Islamist group with links to Iran was held responsible for the murder, but many are still skeptical that rogue elements within the state organized the assassination to stop Mumcu from progressing in research of alleged ties between the state and the PKK.
Even though many claims have been put forward about his death, none were able to be proved. To this day, the influential journalist’s death remains unsolved.
“While cars were passing by the streets with their dazzling lights, we used to finish our books under a candle light. We joined that big struggle, feeling the inside of the hearts of thousands of poor living like us. We were killed untimely. We were beaten, shot, hanged. We were shot my people, don’t forget us!” Mumcu had written in his column in daily Cumhuriyet on Aug. 25, 1975.
Apart from his identities as a writer, journalist and a researcher, Mumcu was an avowed secularist, a faithful pursuer of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s reforms and revolutions, a strong figure against imperialism and a defender of human rights.