VIENNA (AFP)—The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Tuesday condemned the murder of a Turkish editor-in-chief and called on the government in Ankara to do more to protect journalists’ lives.
“I am deeply disturbed by this cowardly attack against a journalist who was doing his job by trying to expose wrongdoing,” the OSCE’s representative on freedom of the media, Miklos Haraszti, said in a statement. “Turkey has to send a strong signal so that journalists can exercise their duty without fear for their lives and well-being.”
Also on Tuesday, the International Press Institute, a media freedom group, condemned Monday the murder of a Turkish editor-in-chief and said government criticism of journalists encouraged such attacks.
Cihan Hayirsevener, 53, was shot Friday as he left the offices of the Guney Marmara’da Yasam (Life in Southern Marmara) newspaper in the western town of Bandırma. He died later in the hospital.
He had been investigating a local corruption scandal and had received death threats, the Vienna-based International Press Institute said in a statement.
It called on Turkish authorities to arrest the killers as soon as possible “because people who want to silence journalists should not be encouraged by too lengthy a trial.”
“We think that the climate enforced by the authorities when attacking and criticizing the media with very harsh words encourages the perpetrators of such acts,” said IPI, which has previously raised concern about media freedom in Turkey.
Eighty journalists have been killed so far this year because of their profession, according to an IPI “death watch” that does not include Friday’s murder. Sixty-six were killed in 2008, it says.