Journalist murdered in Istanbul over snowball that hit shop window
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyA journalist has been stabbed to death by an angry shopkeeper in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district after a snowball thrown during a playful snowball fight involving the reporter and his friends reportedly hit the tradesman’s window.
Nuh Köklü was returning with his girlfriend and friends from a protest on the evening of Feb. 17 when they started a snowball fight in the district’s Yeldeğirmeni neighborhood. One of the snowballs reportedly missed its target and struck the window of Serkan A.’s spice and herbs shop.
“The shopkeeper came out and started speaking very rudely,” said a friend of Köklü, Tamer Doğan.
Despite the group’s attempts to call the man down, he went back to his shop, returning with a baseball bat. After the group successfully took the bat from him, he again returned to his shop, emerging this time with a knife before being to swing wildly at those gathered.
“He cornered a friend of ours called Emrah, after which Nuh went to his aid. As Nuh tried to grab him by the waist, he fell. While Nuh was on his back, [Serkan A.] thrust the bread knife into him forcefully, causing Nuh to scream,” Doğan said.
Köklü was able to get to his feet, but collapsed about 15 paces later, Doğan said, adding that the suspect then returned to the group, continuing to issue threats while brandishing the bloody knife.
“‘I’ll be out [of jail] tomorrow, so I’m OK,’” Doğan quoted the suspect as saying.
“The snowball just hit the window, but because of that, this shopkeeper murdered Nuh. This is a hate crime,” he said.
The dead man’s girlfriend, Ferda Sayın, said others had experienced problems with Serkan A. before as well.
A statement from Yeldeğirmeni Solidarity, of which Köklü was a member, also laid some of the blame at the feet of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who recently called on local shopkeepers to act like the police “if necessary.”
Köklü’s body will be sent to Ankara for burial following an autopsy.