Istanbul, April 20, 2020 — Turkish authorities should conduct a swift and transparent investigation into the shooting attack on the Kocaeli Ses newspaper, hold those responsible to account, and ensure the safety of the paper’s staff, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
At about 5 a.m. this morning, unidentified attackers opened fire at the offices of Kocaeli Ses, a local newspaper of the western city of Kocaeli, according to news reports and a report by the paper.
The building was empty at the time and no one was injured, according to those reports, which stated that police have opened an investigation and are inspecting security footage.
“While, thankfully, no one was hurt in the shooting of the Kocaeli Ses newspaper’s offices, police must still take this case seriously and conduct a thorough investigation,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in New York. “Turkish police should do everything within their power to identify the shooters and bring them to justice. Authorities should also ensure that the newspaper’s staff can work safely and without fear.”
The front window of the office was shattered in the attack, according to those news reports.
Kocaeli Ses chief editor İsmet Çiğit wrote a column in the paper following the shooting, saying that he assumes the attack was an attempt at intimidation related to the outlet’s reporting, as they are the only leftist opposition newspaper in Kocaeli. He wrote that local officials have not approved of the paper’s critical reporting, but said he did not know who may have been responsible for the attack.
CPJ called the Kocaeli police and the city’s Metropolitan Municipality office for comment; both offices told CPJ to call back tomorrow.