IPANEWS

Six accused of attack on opposition journalist released

Six suspects, who were recently detained after an attack on a columnist from Turkey’s Yenicag daily, have been released, the newspaper said in a report on Sunday.

Journalist Murat Ide, who is also a press advisor for Turkey’s nationalist opposition Good Party (IP), was attacked in front of his house in capital Ankara on December 28.

According to Turkish media reports, a group of eight people attacked the columnist on Saturday, punching him and hitting him with a bat, after they followed him in a car as he left a local TV station.

The attack on Ide, who said that he had been receiving threats and dismissing them for a while, was the latest in a string of assaults against journalists in Turkey in recent months.

While the prosecutor released one of the suspects, the remaining five were released under judicial supervision after being referred to Istanbul’s Caglayan courthouse for prosecution.

A police investigation into the incident is still underway to find the remaining two people who are suspected to be responsible for Saturday’s attack.

“Banditry walks free once again,” said Ide on Sunday in a tweet criticizing the release of six people suspected to have attacked him.

The IP was formed in 2017 mainly by those from Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), now an ally of the ruling AK Party (AKP) government, who were disgruntled with MHP leader Devlet Bahceli’s alliance with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The nationalist opposition party emerged as an alternative for Turkey’s right-leaning voters who were frustrated with both the MHP and the governing AKP.

In moves that angered the MHP cadres and supporters, the IP allied with Turkey’s main opposition secular Republican People’s Party (CHP) among other opposition parties during the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018 as well as this year’s March 31 local elections.

A number of dissident journalists who have been critical of the Erdogan ally, including Yenicag columnist Yavuz Selim Demirag and the paper’s former Ankara representative Ahmet Takan, have also been attacked earlier this year.

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