Istanbul, February 6, 2024—The Committee to Protect Journalists urged the Turkish authorities to thoroughly investigate Monday’s shooting and wounding of journalist Azim Deniz and determine whether he was targeted for his work.
“We are very glad journalist Azim Deniz survived a despicable attack, and it is a positive development that the alleged shooter was quickly apprehended by the authorities. However, authorities must determine if the attack was retaliation for Deniz’s journalism and whether the shooter had co-conspirators in order to bring all those involved swiftly to justice,” Özgür Öğret, CPJ’s Turkey representative, said on Tuesday. “Impunity in violence against journalists inevitably results in even more violence and a less informed public everywhere, every time. It’s never too late to improve Turkey’s impunity track record for crimes committed against the news media.”
A man shot Deniz, chief editor for the privately owned news website and online TV Deniz Postası, in his stomach and leg near his house in the central city of Kayseri on Monday morning, according to news reports and the journalist’s description of the event recorded from his hospital bed. The shooter fled the scene, and Deniz’s son took the journalist to the hospital, where, according to these sources, he is in a stable condition.
Deniz released a statement on social media on Tuesday in which he described the shooter as a “triggerman for some people” and added that he trusts the authorities to find those people.
CPJ’s calls to Deniz, his legal representation, the outlet offices of Deniz Postası, and the shooter’s legal representative were not answered.
Deniz was previously attacked and beaten by a mob in Kayseri, which raided his outlet’s broadcast studio in April 2022.
CPJ’s email to the Kayseri chief prosecutor’s office did not receive an immediate reply.