Turkish Journalist Assassinated

Calls on Prime Minister to Launch Immediate Investigation and to Bring Perpetrators to Justice

New York, N.Y., October 21, 1999-The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed outrage at the assassination today of prominent academic and journalist Ahmet Taner Kislali.

Kislali, a regular columnist for the daily Cumhuriyet,was killed today in a bomb attack in front of his suburban Ankara home. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital after reportedly sustaining shrapnel wounds to his face and chest. His left arm was also torn off.

Press reports, citing Turkish officials, said that the bomb, wrapped in newspaper, was placed on the windshield of Kislali’s car. When Kislali attempted to remove the package, it exploded.

“Killing journalists is the ultimate form of censorship,” said CPJ’s Executive Director Ann K. Cooper. “Turkish authorities must act swiftly to bring those responsible for this unspeakable crime to justice.”

Cooper specifically called on Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit “to launch an immediate investigation into the incident and to make its findings public.”

While the identity of the perpetrators is unclear, Turkish security officials have been quoted as saying that the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders’ Front (IBDA-C), an extremist, underground Islamist group, claimed responsibility for the assassination of Kislali, who was a staunch secularist and critic of the Islamist movement in Turkey. These reports, however, have not been verified.

In addition to his work at Cumhuriyet,Kislali taught political science at Ankara University. He served as culture minister in the late 1970s and had also been a member of parliament.

Back to top