Turkey: Journalist Güngör Arslan killed in a gun attack, suspect arrested

Güngör Arslan, owner, editor-in-chief and columnist of the daily Ses Kocaeli, was killed in a gun attack in front of his newspaper's editorial office on February 19. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) and its Turkish affiliates condemn this brutal killing and call for justice.

Güngör Arslan was shot by an assailant in the chest and in the right leg outside his office in the city of Izmit. He was rushed to a hospital where he died of gunshot wounds.

Kokaeli region governor, Seddar Yavuz, said the authorities had arrested a suspect in connection with the journalist's killing and recovered the weapon believed to have been used in the attack. According to media reports, the suspect said in his first statement that "two people had instigated him to commit the crime."

The authorities confirmed there's an ongoing comprehensive investigation into the murder.

Regularly threatened for his reporting

Güngör Arslan was regularly threatened for his reporting over corruption cases, bribery and clientelism in his media, Ses Kocaeli. Threats escalated into action in April 2020, when a group of unidentified attackers opened fire at the offices of the local newspaper.

In an article published the day before his death, Arslan reported on corruption allegations against Kocaeli Mayor Tahir Büyükakın, from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

IFJ and EFJ affiliate, Gazeteciler Sendikası (TGS), said that Arslan's killers wanted to "silence him" and urged investigators to identify and detain the masterminds behind the killing.


IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "We condemn the senseless killing of our colleague Güngör Arslan and urge the authorities to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to find his killers and and the masterminds behind this terrible crime and bring them to justice. We mourn the loss of a brave journalist who did a great job exposing corruption and wrongdoing. We send our condolences to his family, colleagues and friends at this difficult time."

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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