Metin Alataş

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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 Turkey 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 broader investigation.

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 Adana. Özkan said police did not investigate the assault.  

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