Six detained following Yeniçağ journalist attack
Six people have been detained in connection with the attack on Yenicağ newspaper columnist Yavuz Selim Demirağ who was hospitalized after being assaulted outside his home on May 10.
Demirağ was beaten up by about five to six people with baseball bats after appearing on a TV show. The assailants escaped the scene in a vehicle.
The reason for the attack was unknown, but it comes amid tensions over the top electoral authority’s decision to cancel the results of the March 31 mayoral race for Istanbul, which was won by the opposition. It ordered a revote June 23.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), visited Demirağ in the hospital and condemned the attack.
“How can a journalist be beaten with intent to kill just because he participated in a program, voiced his views or criticized someone?” he told reporters. “Where is Turkey going to?”
İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has also condemned the attack.
“I condemn the base attack against the honored Yeniçağ newspaper columnist Yavuz Selim Demirağ. I wish him a quick recovery. This base attack has been done against press freedom and our freedom of opinion. These [attacks] cannot discourage us and will not!” said Akşener on her Twitter account on May 11.
The assault also drew condemnation from Turkey’s Journalists Association, which said the attack on Demirağ raises concerns over media freedoms.
“Politicians who have difficulty espousing the idea of freedom of media and of expression and turn newspapers and journalists into targets play an important role in these types of attacks,” the group said.
The journalist was in stable condition and was expected to be released from the hospital on May 12.