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Editor killed; reporter on trial

A Turkish editor was gunned down last week after leaving his office, report the IPS Communication Foundation (BIANET) and the International Press Institute (IPI). The editor had already received several death threats related to his coverage of local corruption.

The Editor-in-chief of the western Turkish newspaper "Güney Marmara'da Yasam" ("Life in Southern Marmara"), 53-year-old Cihan Hayirsevener, was shot several times and later died in hospital, reports IPI.

According to Istanbul-based BIANET, Hayirsevener had written about corrupt politicians. He had also been reporting on a corruption scandal involving three owners of another major daily; the three are in prison on corruption charges, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and IPI.

At a commemoration ceremony, the journalist's daughter proclaimed: "The reason why he was killed is that he was doing his work. That he was doing journalism, that he was writing the truth," reports BIANET. Another journalist at the ceremony added, "Words are not enough to express our grief. How can a weapon oppress a pen?"

"Local journalists are more in danger nowadays because the perpetrators cannot be easily found," notes IPI.

BIANET also reports that journalist Nedim Sener, who wrote a book about the murder of journalist Hrant Dink, is facing up to 32 years and six months in prison. Sener has been accused of "revealing classified information, turning people on duty against terrorism into public targets and of attempting to influence the judiciary." The book, "The Dink Murder and Intelligence Lies", covers the role of the gendarmerie, police and national intelligence officers and their negligence in the 2007 murder case of Dink. Sener's case will continue February 2010.

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