The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom, today condemned the assault on Orhan Uğuroğlu, a Turkish TV commentator and Ankara correspondent of the conservative Yeniçağ newspaper and Yeniçağ TV.
According to news reports, Uğuroğlu was attacked on January 15 in Ankara by three assailants outside his home as he was about to get into his car. Uguroğlu suffered a light wound on the arm. Yeniçağ reported that according to Uğuroğlu’s initial statement at the police station, the assailants warned Uğuroğlu to stop criticizing the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a far-right political party that is in alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Local media also reported that the three suspects were taken into police detention.
In 2019, another Yeniçağ journalist, Yavuz Selim Demirağ, was targeted by armed assailants outside of his home in Ankara. In May 2019, at least five journalists of various outlets were attacked and hospitalized, with some of the attacks ascribed to ultra-nationalist MHP supporters.
IPI Turkey Programme Coordinator Renan Akyavaş said: “We are deeply concerned about the assault on Orhan Uğuroğlu and wish him a speedy recovery. The Turkish authorities must fully investigate the incident and hold all those who were responsible to account.”
She added: “During our press freedom mission to Turkey in 2020, we raised concerns with the Justice Ministry about growing physical attacks on journalists and underscored the importance of conducting comprehensive investigations. Yet our call has been left unanswered. We urge the Turkish authorities once again to ensure that all attacks on journalists are thoroughly investigated and punished so as to prevent a situation of impunity that only encourages further attacks.”