Alataş, 34, a reporter for the independent daily Azadiya Welat, was found hanging from a
tree in an orchard in the Hadirli district of Adana in the predominantly
Kurdish region of southeastern
on April 4, according to local news accounts. Metin had gone that morning to
Hadirli to distribute copies of the newspaper but never returned to his home in
the Seyhan district, 10 miles from where his body was found.
Hakki Boltan, editor of Azadiya
Walat, told CPJ that a preliminary autopsy performed at the Adana Forensic
Medicine Institute did not find evidence of foul play. Staff at the daily and
Alataş’ family, however, disputed the finding of suicide and called for a
Alataş had received several death threats, according to
Vedat Özkan, lawyer for Azadiya Welat.
On December 22, 2009, five unidentified men in a car approached Alataş on his
way to work and assaulted him. Atalaş sustained injuries to his legs and was
treated at a hospital in
Özkan said police did not investigate the assault.