German union urges action against violence targeting exiled Turkish journalists

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Frank Überall, chairman of the German Journalists’ Association (DJV), has called on the federal government to take steps to prevent threats and attacks targeting Turkish journalists exiled in Germany, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Friday.

Referring to a hit list that includes the names of 55 Turkish journalists critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government who are living in exile, the existence of which was recently confirmed by the German Federal Police, Überall asked German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to take action against the risk of assassination facing the journalists.

Überall asked Maas to summon the Turkish ambassador to the Foreign Ministry and clearly state that threats and violence targeting exiled journalists, who fled from the oppressive regime in Turkey and took refuge in Germany, constituted the elements of a crime.

Überall said although they welcomed the protective measures taken by the police for the journalists whose names are included on the hit list, they weren’t enough to prevent the threats and attacks facing them.

DW also quoted Überall as saying, referring to a recent attack targeting Erk Acarer, that it was bad enough that journalists critical of the AKP government can no longer engage in journalism in Turkey, but that it was completely unacceptable that they still had to live in fear in Germany.

Acarer, a Turkish journalist critical of Erdoğan’s government who has been living in exile in Germany, was attacked outside his home on July 6 by three men who warned him to stop writing. Earlier this week the journalist also received a note telling him to “just wait.”

Following the developments, Acarer tweeted that the AKP and its ally, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party, and the German government, which he claimed to have been lax in taking action, would be responsible for any new attacks that target him.

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