Yeni Asır newspaper office vandalized after call for protest in İzmir
İZMİR - Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotosThe offices of local daily Yeni Asır in İzmir have been vandalized with red paint and eggs following a call by the regional representative of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) to protest the newspaper in a demonstration commemorating the victims of the Ankara blasts.
Yeni Asır, a local newspaper of the Turkuvaz Media Group, which also owns Sabah daily and private broadcaster ATV, was vandalized with red paint and eggs by a group of 12 people.
The group entered the building and began throwing eggs and plastic bottles filled with red paint.
According to a news report by the daily, the assailants called the journalists “murderers” and slammed its headline following the double bombings in Ankara.
Yeni Asır Editor-in-Chief Şebnem Bursalı stated she held Memiş Sarı, the Aegean regional representative of DİSK, responsible for the attack.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Bursalı said Sarı was “disturbed” by the headlines of Yeni Asır and Sabah and made both newspapers a target by throwing them away during a demonstration protesting the attacks in Ankara.
“We were expecting such an attack after Sarı pointed the finger at our newspaper as a target. Honestly, it wasn’t surprising. We hope this to be the last. People are free to defend whatever they like but they should avoid violence,” Bursalı stated.
Police have launched an investigation into identifying the attackers and initiated a search at the building to find fingerprints.
Four suspects have been detained by the police, while Bursalı said nine of the twelve attackers have been identified so far.
She added the daily would take legal action against Sarı.
Bursalı also expressed her disappointment for not receiving calls from İzmir deputies of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) or İzmir Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu, who was elected from the same party.
Meanwhile, the İzmir Journalists Association released a statement condemning the attack against Yeni Asır.
“We are against all threats and attacks targeting journalists and media freedoms. Freedom of expression and freedom of the media are cornerstones of a healthy democracy,” the statement said, while urging the authorities to apprehend and punish the assailants.