Founder of Turkish technology journalism loses battle with cancer at 49
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Hürriyet photoYurtsan Atakan, who was widely perceived as the man responsible for establishing and popularizing technology journalism in Turkey, died yesterday night, aged 49.
"He died in peace and without pain," Atakan's widow Lale Atakan told daily Hürriyet, where the scribe worked for many years. "He was a very good person, an angel. He loved journalism, he wouldn't want to do antyhing but journalism", she said in tears.
Atakan had been undergoing cancer treatment in the United States for some time and was forced last month to stop writing his column in daily Akşam, his latest post in a career that spanned more than two decades and nearly a dozen positions in different media outlets in Turkey.
Atakan's journalism career began in daily Cumhuriyet and continued at Güneş Publishing, Bersay Publishing and Turkish dailies Yeni Yüzyıl, Star, Hürriyet and Akşam.
Atakan began writing about technology and the Internet in 1994 at a time when both concepts were new to Turkish readers, if not altogether alien. He became the editor-in-chief of monthly "PC World" magazine, a source of knowledge for technology enthusiasts and professionals alike, when reliable and useful information on technology was scarce and hard to find. Atakan also started a technology column in Hürriyet in 1995, a post he held for many years, before transferring to Akşam. He also had a position at "Gusto" magazine at the time of his death.
Atakan received numerous awards from the Turkey Informatics Foundation, including "best column," "best website," "best photograph," and a special award for his contributions to information technology.
Opponent of web censorship
Atakan was also a critic of Internet censorship and the current expansion of state control over the Internet. He frequently wrote about Internet freedom and encouraged its widespread use in his columns.
Atakan's funeral will be held tomorrow at Levent Mosque in Istanbul.