“Sharing what you witness, what you know is a matter of honor in our profession. But writing and speaking come at a price,” wrote Yavuz Selim Demirag, a veteran columnist in a recent esaay for the right-wing conservative Yeni Cag. Two weeks later, on May 10, Demirag, a fierce critic of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was attacked outside his Ankara home by a group of men wielding baseball bats, baying “kill him, kill him” before fleeing in a stolen vehicle. Demirag remains in a military hospital recovering from a concussion, bruises and a swollen eye.
Six of the seven perpetrators were detained by authorities only to be freed a day later on the grounds that the journalist’s injuries were not life threatening.