Journalism groups denounce Bahçeli over attack on reporter at parliament

News About Turkey - NAT
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Journalism groups have criticized Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), over party officials’ treatment of a reporter yesterday (January 24).

When Yıldız Yazıcıoğlu, a reporter for the Voice of America Turkish service, asked Bahçeli a question following the MHP parliamentary group meeting, he responded, “Mind your own business,” after which an MHP deputy shoved the journalist.

One of Yazıcıoğlu’s questions was about the December 30 assassination of Sinan Ateş, an ex-leader of the Grey Wolves, an ultranationalist group affiliated with the MHP. Party officials have mostly remained silent about what was one of the most controversial political murders in the country’s recent history.

Speaking to KRT TV after the incident, Yazıcıoğlu said, “What upsets me is that the person who shoved me is an MP.”

“I don’t want to directly respond to Mr. Bahçeli. The footage is clear. What I always do is to ask questions,” she added.

“This is what our ‘business’ is”

In reaction to the incident, the Ankara branch of the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) said, “We are minding our own business. We don’t accept what was done to Yıldız Yazıcıoğlu, who is the honor of our job. We condemn the attack against Yıldız YAzıcıoğlu under the roof of the Supreme Assembly. The press is free, it cannot be censored!”

The DİSK Basın-İş union said, “We remind Bahçeli that this is exactly what our ‘business’ is. Like it or not, journalists ask questions, and they will!

“We ask our colleague’s questions again: It is discussed that Erdoğan cannot be a candidate for the third time if the decision [to bring elections forward] is not taken in the parliament. What is the solution? What do you say about the allegations regarding the Sinan Ateş murder?”

The Press Council said the intervention against Yazıcıoğlu targeted the people’s right to information and “strongly condemned” the MHP.

The Contemporary Journalists Association (TGC) also denounced Bahçeli over his response to the journalist.

At least eight journalists were attacked in the last three months of 2022, according to the BİA Media Monitoring Reports.(HA/VK)


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