Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has condemned the wounding of TRT World journalists during the protests against the killing of George Floyd in the U.S., saying, “Press freedom is the backbone of democracy.”
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s attack against TRT World Sr. Producer Lionel Donovan during the George Floyd protests in the United States. Press freedom is the backbone of democracy,” Altun tweeted late on June 1.
“I will raise this issue with the relevant U.S. officials without delay,” he also said.
According to the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least 125 press freedom violations had been reported nationwide by journalists since May 29 during the protests.
Journalists from Turkey, the country that ranks near bottom of various press freedom indexes and is the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, are also covering the protests.
TRT World journalists came in the line of fire in the states of Washington and Minneapolis.
Sally Ayhan, the Washington correspondent of TRT World, was injured in the chest and leg by plastic bullets during live coverage.
Another correspondent, Lionel Donovan and cameramen Barbaros Sayılgan from Minneapolis also came under attack. Donovan was injured when a bullet targeted his groin.