On July 7, 2021, Turkish journalist Erk Acarer, who is living in Germany, was attacked and beaten by three assailants armed with knives who broke into his residence in the evening.

Acarer, who works for BirGün, Artı TV and German outlet Taz.de, received medical treatment in hospital. He later wrote on his social media accounts that his health condition was stable. The International Press Institute (IPI) is appalled by this horrific attack and calls on German authorities to find and hold accountable those responsible for the attack.

Acarer published a video on his Twitter account the next morning explaining the incident. Three men who broke into the courtyard outside his apartment in Berlin, Germany attacked him with knives kicking him on the floor while shouting “You won’t write anymore!”. He said that the worst of the beating was stopped as more witnesses gathered at the scene. Acarer suffered wounds to the head and face and spent the night in the hospital due to concerns about a possible skull fracture. After test results showed no serious injuries, Acarer was sent back home. Acarer added that he has suspicions regarding the groups that may be responsible for the attack, singling out Turkey’s ruling AKP party and its ultra-nationalist ally MHP. However, he was requested by the German authorities not to share anything specific for the sake of investigation. He also noted that he and his family have been placed under police protection.

Acarer has investigated and written critically about the Turkish government and its policies for many years. He published a book in 2017 entitled “ISIS and Turkey: We know the killers” as part of his investigative work on ISIS activities in Turkey. Recently he was reporting on the corruption scandals and alleged links and bribery between Turkish businessman Baran Sezgin Korkmaz and AKP and MHP officials within the government following the most recent allegations by mafia boss Sedat Peker. Among the suspected groups that could be behind the attack on Acarer is an outlawed ultra-nationalist group called “Osmanen Germania” which was banned in Germany in 2018 as a terrorist organization with alleged links to AKP politician and former MP Metin Külünk.

“IPI is extremely disturbed by the attack on Erk Acarer, which must be immediately and fully investigated, including as regards the possible involvement of Turkish state actors. All those involved must be held to account. Germany must make clear that it will not tolerate targeted or politically motivated attacks on critical journalists on its soil, and it must ensure that there are serious consequences for those who prompt, organize, and carry out such attacks, whether in Germany or Turkey”, IPI Turkey Programme Coordinator Renan Akyavas said.

“The open aggression by the Turkish government and its allies towards the media is already leading to an alarming rise in physical violence against journalists within Turkey.  We won’t stop fighting for press freedom until these attacks on journalists and all dissident voices stop in the country. We stand by and send our full support to Erk Acarer.”