On Tuesday, three tabloid reporters and a boat captain narrowly escaped death when a speedboat belonging to a hotel in the area ploughed into their vessel in the southwestern district of Bodrum, Turkey’s well-known Aegean resort town.
The luxury hotel, Macakizi Hotel, and the captain of the speedboat that belongs to the hotel are under investigation as video footage recorded by a security camera of a nearby hotel shows the speedboat crashing into the vessel without even reducing speed or changing direction, despite clear visibility. The investigation could lead to a charge of attempted murder.
The reporters – Cenker Tezel from daily Hurriyet, Metehan Eksi from Tv100 and Onur Aydin from Haberturk-Bloomberg news channel – were in the area to report on holidaymakers and celebrities during the Feast of Ramadan, and were filming around Cennet (Paradise) Cove when the speedboat rammed into their vessel, almost breaking it in half.
The reporters, who jumped off the boat just before the collision, survived the incident with minor injuries. However, their skipper, Osman Demirkoz, was seriously injured and almost lost his leg.
The speedboat allegedly left the scene immediately after the crash. The casualties were pulled from the sea by a tourist’s vessel and were rushed to a nearby private hospital.
The injured skipper is still in a serious condition due to heavy bleeding, while the speedboat’s captain, A. S., was detained pending the investigation.
According to a statement by the coastal guard command, the detained captain claims that he did not see the vessel and denied allegations of intentionally colliding with the boat, saying that no one would willingly cause such an accident. He also claimed that several hotel guests were on board when the accident occurred.
The Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) has vowed to follow up on the investigation.