Armed attack in central Turkey leaves journalist injured

Journalist Azim Deniz was shot in the abdomen and leg by an unidentified gunman in the central Turkish province of Kayseri, Turkish media reported on Monday.

The incident took place as Deniz was leaving home to host a TV program featuring a local city council member who recently resigned from the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) over a disagreement with one of the party’s representatives in parliament.

The police are searching for the assailant, while the journalist is receiving treatment for his wounds at a hospital, the reports said.

The Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) said Deniz was also assaulted by a mob in 2022.

In recent years, several journalists have been the victims of similar attacks across Turkey, typically after reporting on alleged corruption or criticizing politicians.

These incidents usually end in impunity or lenient sentences for the perpetrators.

The attacks exacerbate the climate of intimidation against journalist who frequently find themselves in the crosshairs of authorities with accusations of disinformation, insult or terrorist propaganda.

Turkey, which is among the top jailers of journalists in the world, was ranked 165th in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2023 World Press Freedom Index, among 180 countries, not far from North Korea, which occupies the bottom of the list.

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