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Turkish Ultra nationalists attack Turkish Cypriot journalist
2003-10-21 11:22:07

Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (18.10.03) reports that a group of demonstrators, members of the ?Nationalist Hearths? organization which is known as ?The Grey Wolves?, attacked on Friday Murat Kanatli, editor of the Turkish Cypriot weekly YENI CAG newspaper, who was trying to take some pictures from a protest march they were making against ?the interference of the USA and the EU? in the December ?elections? in the occupied areas of Cyprus, ?the interference of British and American petrol companies? in the Presidential elections in Azerbaijan and the arrest of the chairman of the Nationalist Hearths in Azerbaijan.

Under the banner front-page title ?The ultra nationalists attacked?, AFRIKA notes that the attack took place in front of the so-called police?s eyes, that Murat Kanatli was hit on the head and the shoulders and that his camera was taken away from him while taking picture of the demonstration. The paper writes that the ?police? simply watched the incident and when Mr Kanatli went to the ?police? station in order to file a complaint he was told: ?What have you been doing there? You should not have been taking pictures?!

The protestors have also been shouting in front of the headquarters of AFRIKA: ?The Grey Wolves are here. Where are the traitors?? ?We say no to the EU and just to be contrary we say Turan?, ?The Greeks are and will remain dogs? and ?The army of the Grey Wolves is the fear of the traitors?.

In statements after the incident Mr Kanatli said that the ultra nationalists attacked him in spite of the fact that he had spoken to no one of them and he had done nothing provocative.

Meanwhile, Kemal Darbaz, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Trade Union (BASIN - SEN), criticized the attack against Murat Kanatli and drew attention to the intensifying actions of violence during the last days against the forces, which support the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (20.10.03) reports that BASIN ? SEN issued a written statement noting that they called on international organizations to protect the freedom of speech of the Turkish Cypriot journalists.

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