Ruling party members ‘strongly condemn’ attack against Hürriyet columnist

Ruling party members ‘strongly condemn’ attack against Hürriyet columnist

Ruling party members ‘strongly condemn’ attack against Hürriyet columnist

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Members of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have “strongly condemned” a physical attack against Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan, who had previously been targeted with politically-motivated threats and is now injured after the assault in front of his home.

“We strongly condemn the awful attack against journalist Ahmet Hakan,” AKP’s spokesperson and former Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik said on Oct. 1, extending his sympathies to Hakan through a message posted to his official Twitter account.

“Attacks against journalists cannot be justified in any way. Violence cannot be condoned in any way. Violence should be unconditionally rejected,” Çelik said, voicing “best wishes” to all press members.

The attack has also drawn a strongly-worded condemnation from a deputy prime minister. 

“I condemn with hatred the attack against journalist Ahmet Hakan,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Oct. 1 in a message posted to his official Twitter account. 

“Attacks aimed at the press and press members are at the same time against freedom of expression and democracy,” Kurtulmuş said, while extending “get well soon” wishes to the injured Hakan.

Meanwhile, Turkish Justice Minister Kenan İpek said the perpetrators will be "punished appropriately."

İpek condemned the assault via his Twitter account on Nov. 1, expressing “get well” wishes to Hakan and all Turkish media outlets.

Hüseyin Çelik, a former spokesperson for the same party and a former minister, also condemned the attack.

“I strongly condemn the flagitious attack against Ahmet Hakan. No matter what its reason and goal is, all kinds of violence are indication of incapability,” Hüseyin Çelik said, also in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has also expressed his concerns on the assault.

“I am extremely sad. A dear journalist was first threatened with death and now physically assaulted. It creates great concern among us that tension in society has reached this point. It is our great desire that the government should take very careful and consistent steps over attacks targeting the media. Security forces will also fulfill their duty by finding the real perpetrators of this incident,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

Kılıçdaroğlu also called both Hakan and Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin to extend his sympathies after the attack.

“Threats and unlawful actions aimed at impeding freedom of press and expression have turned into physical violence,” Kılıçdaroğlu was quoted as telling Hakan over the telephone by the CHP.

“I hope that this will be the last example of violence which is unacceptable and which needs to be rebuked,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.