The IPI global network of journalists, editors, and publishers strongly condemned today the physical assault on journalists Vedat Örüç and Elif Kurttaş who were investigating a lead related to imported waste treatment across various industrial plants in the southern Turkish city of Adana. We call on Turkish authorities to fully investigate the attack and hold those behind the assault responsible in order to ensure journalists’ safety on the ground.
Freelance journalists Örüç and Kurttaş visited the Adana Industrial Recycling Plant on July 27 as part of their investigative reporting on imported waste treatment in Turkey. The journalists were obstructed and attacked while taking photos of the plant by workers of two industrial recycling firms, Akbulut Recycling and Akgül Recycling, journalists reported. Örüç later shared photos on his social media account demonstrating clear strike marks on his neck. The journalist also said they were verbally attacked and unwillingly kept at the plant by company officials, including an executive.
“The physical attack on journalists who were investigating an environmental issue is not acceptable. We call on Turkey to investigate the attack to hold those behind the attack to account and guarantee journalists’ safety on the field”, IPI Turkey Programme Coordinator Renan Akyavaş said.
Journalists reported they plan to seek an official assault report from the hospital and to press charges against the assailants. IPI stands in solidarity with the journalists and will follow the case closely.