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Journalist beaten, threatened for criticising mayor

(BIANET/IFEX) - Journalist Tamer Topçu was attacked by two unidentified persons on the evening of 23 March 2010 at around 7:00 pm. The journalist was on his way home together with his wife in the Buca district of Izmir.

Topçu had previously criticized the mayor of Buca, Ercan Tatı, in several articles. The journalist stated that a person he did not know asked for a meeting, saying that he was going to give him a file about Mayor Tatı. They talked on the phone a couple of times, but he never showed up at the places they had agreed upon. Eventually, Topçu was heavily assaulted, supposedly by the same person.

Topçu is known for his local reporting and has made headlines for his criticism of Mayor Tatı from the Republican People's Party (CHP). Topçu writes columns for the "Gazetem Ege" newspaper and is currently working at a press institution.

In a statement published on EgedeSonSöz.com ("final word at the Aegean"), the journalist said, "I was assaulted right in front of my house in Buca by people I do not know. I expect an independent judiciary to solve this incident".

The journalist described the incident as follows. He stated that two people got out of a taxi and approached him. He was not able to identify the car's license plate.

"We were followed by a taxi when I went home from the bus station together with my wife. When we had reached street no. 120, I saw two people coming our way and I told my wife to stay back. One of them had a weapon, the other one was carrying an iron stick. They attacked me. While they were beating me, they threatened me by saying, 'If you write anything negative about our mayor once again, we will kill you'".

Topçu went to the police and complained. He furthermore claimed that one of the persons hit him on the head with the butt of his weapon when he was on his way home together with his pregnant wife.

The journalist suffered bruises in his face from the attack. The police investigation is still going on.

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