Leyla Yildizhan (Deniz Firat)

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Yildizhan, a Kurdish journalist who also goes by Deniz Firat, was killed when shrapnel from a mortar shell hit her in the chest, according to news reports. Yildizhan was covering the clashes in the Mukhmur district between Kurdish forces and insurgents with the Islamic State, an Al-Qaeda splinter group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, the Firat News Agency said.

Firat, who was from the Kurdish city of Van in eastern Turkey, was embedded with Kurdish forces, according to Rahman Gharib, general coordinator for the local press freedom group Metro Center to Defend Journalists, and news reports. She was reporting for the Firat News Agency, an outlet based outside Turkey pro-Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) station. She also reported for other several pro-Kurdish TV stations, including Sterk TV, Med NUÇE, and Ronahi TV.

Firat’s body was sent back to her hometown in Çaldıran district of Van in Turkey for her funeral, according to news reports.