Ismail Saymaz

Ismail Saymaz

By peh4, 28 April 2014

A reporter for the newspaper Radikal, Ismail Saymaz was covering a nationwide wave of demonstrations in the summer of 2013 when he found proof that it was shopkeepers and plainclothes policemen who had beaten a young protester to death in the western city of Eskisehir. As a result, he was threatened by the local prefect, who had said he could have been killed by other protesters. Saymaz is used to such threats. His articles and books have tackled all the most sensitive subjects, including the “deep state,” the Ergenekon conspiracy and political manipulation of the judicial system. He has been sued around 20 times and has been the target of virulent verbal attacks by government officials and the far right. Despite a lively media landscape, independent journalism in Turkey needs a vocation. At least 131 journalists have been fired or forced to resign in 2013and at least 13 are being held in connection with their reporting. Some have been held for several years.