A Turkish journalist living in exile in the United States has been targeted by a pro-government newspaper that revealed his home address and published secretly taken photos, in the latest episode of a manhunt being carried out for journalists who have been forced to flee Turkey and reside overseas.
Journalist Ekrem Dumanlı, former editor-in-chief of the now-closed Zaman daily, was targeted by the Sabah daily’s news coordinator, Abdurrahman Şimşek, who is suspected of having ties to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
Sabah on Thursday published secretly taken photos of Dumanlı in New Jersey. The paper also revealed his address in addition to featuring pictures of his house.
The Sabah daily, owned by the Turkuvaz Media Group, has also targeted other journalists in exile — Cevheri Güven in Germany and Abdullah Bozkurt, Levent Kenez and Bülent Keneş in Sweden — revealing their addresses and publishing secretly taken photos on its front page.
The journalists are among the thousands of people who left Turkey in the aftermath of a failed coup in July 2016 to avoid a government-led post-coup crackdown targeting critical journalists as well as non-loyalist citizens.
Turkey’s efforts at transnational repression against critics abroad have not abated, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government continues devising new ways to intimidate opponents and suppress dissent.
A report by Freedom House on transnational repression revealed that the Turkish government has committed 132 incidents of direct, physical transnational repression and has relentlessly pursued exiles associated with the Gülen and Kurdish movements since 2014.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the domestic intelligence and security service of the US and its principal federal law enforcement agency, earlier indicated on its website that it investigates the transnational repression tactics of foreign governments in the US and offers instructions on how to report such activity.
In its annual human rights report on Turkey, the US State Department included the Turkish government’s transnational repression tactics to suppress its critics living abroad.
Last month, four members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced the Transnational Repression Policy Act to keep authoritarian governments in check and prevent their “long arm” from impeding human rights abroad.