The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Tuesday called on Turkey to immediately conduct a full and transparent investigation into whether Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reporter Essam Abdullah and other civilians were targeted during airstrikes in northern Syria.
Kurdish-Syrian journalist Abdullah died during airstrikes carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) on the bases of Kurdish militants in Syria. Mihemed Cerade, a reporter from Stêrk TV who was covering the airstrikes, was also seriously injured.
“Turkish authorities must immediately conduct a full and transparent investigation on whether Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reporter Essam Abdullah and other journalists were targeted during Turkish airstrikes in the region,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “Journalists are civilians and should be protected while doing their jobs.”
Turkey on Sunday carried out airstrikes on the bases of Kurdish militants across northern Syria and Iraq, which it said were being used to launch terrorist attacks on Turkish soil.
The Turkish strikes left dozens, including at least 11 civilians, dead a week after a blast in central İstanbul killed six people and wounded 81, an attack Turkey has blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The PKK has waged a bloody insurgency there for decades and is designated as a terror group by Ankara and much of the international community. But it has denied involvement in the İstanbul explosion.