Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the armed attacks on the headquarters of two pro-government dailies that took place in quick succession early today in Istanbul, and regrets that the media have yet again suffered the effects of the mounting tension in Turkey.
At around 5 a.m., masked individuals threw Molotov cocktails at Yeni Safak’s entrance and fired shots at its windows. Half an hour later, the headquarters of Akit Media, the company that owns the newspaper Yeni Akit, was the target of a similar attack.
“We hope that the investigation that is under way identifies those responsible for this unjustifiable violence,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.
“This use of violence is yet further evidence of the dangerous level of polarization in Turkish society. We urge the government, political class and news media of all political tendencies to renounce aggressive rhetoric and the language of hate once and for all.”
The past few months have seen a series of targeted attacks on news providers. The well-known journalist Ahmet Hakan was assaulted outside his home in September after being the target of aggressive verbal attacks in the pro-government daily Star. A few weeks before that, angry demonstrators attacked the Istanbul headquarters of the daily Hürriyet twice. And a bomb was defused outside the Star headquarters in July.
Yeni Akit and Yeni Safak are well known for waging vitriolic verbal campaigns against government critics and all those who oppose their Islamist and nationalist editorial line.