The former editor in chief of one of Turkey’s leading opposition newspapers, Can Dündar, survived an apparent attempt on his life outside of the courthouse where he is being tried on charges of revealing state secrets.
Video of the moments after the attempt was captured by one of the many cameras waiting outside the courthouse, where Dündar was on a break awaiting the court’s verdict:
Breaking: Armed assault against journo Can Dündar in front of Court in Istanbul. 2 shots fired, a journo injured. pic.twitter.com/BMbmqjowfA
— Turkey Untold (@TurkeyUntold) May 6, 2016
The footage appeared to show Dündar’s wife and a member of Turkey’s main opposition party seizing the gunman and forcing him to drop his weapon. The attacker apparently shouted “traitor” at Dündar before opening fire.
“I am OK. … The court was in a break to deliver a verdict. The attack occurred after we went out to wait for the ruling,” Dündar said following the incident. “I don’t know who or what it is. I only saw the gun had been pointed at me.”
Dündar’s highly publicized arrest last year was widely condemned by civil rights and press freedom groups around the world. Both he and Cumhuriyet’s Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gül, were detained after Cumhuriyet reported that a weapons shipment had been seized at the Turkish border, presumably bound for rebels in Syria.
Erdogan has led a forceful crackdown on the opposition Gülen movement since at least 2013, accusing its supporters of running a “parallel structure” to his government and arresting journalists and publications deemed sympathetic to its cause.
Many took to Twitter to denounce the inflammatory rhetoric that had turned Dündar into a “target”:
man firing shots at can dündar was obviously inspired by ‘enemy from within’ narrative used by erdogan to target dündar again and again.
— Frederike Geerdink (@fgeerdink) May 6, 2016
This is what happens when you keep calling journalists “terrorists” https://t.co/rSs6KXx7HH
— Borzou Daragahi (@borzou) May 6, 2016
Our dear colleague Can Dündar: They arrested, persecuted, threatened him. He did not bow his head. And, finalli they tried to gun him down.
— Cengiz Çandar (@CengizCandar) May 6, 2016
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