Exiled Turkish journalist attacked outside home in Germany

World

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish journalist who is critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government and has been living in exile in Germany said he was attacked and injured outside his home in suburban Berlin by three men who reportedly warned him to stop writing.

Erk Acarer, a columnist for Turkey’s independent Birgun newspaper, said in a video posted on Twitter that the attack occurred late Wednesday in the courtyard of his home. The 48-year-old sustained some swelling on his head and was kept at a hospital for several hours for observation.

Berlin police confirmed the assault and said three people attacked Acarer on Wednesday night in the Rudow area of southern Berlin.

“These men attacked him in the yard of a house; two allegedly punched and kicked him, while one secured this whole scene,” Berlin police spokesperson Patricia Braemer said.

Braemer said: “Following first investigations, which started yesterday, it cannot be excluded that his job as a journalist is the background for this assault.”

In a video posted on Twitter, Acarer said that one of his attackers warned him in Turkish: “You will not write.”

The journalist posted a photograph of himself earlier and said he was attacked “with fists and knives.”

“I know the attackers. I will never surrender to fascism,” Acarer wrote.

Acarer was among a group of journalists who were prosecuted for reporting on the funeral of a Turkish intelligence officer who was killed in Libya and was quietly buried. Five of the journalists were convicted of violating Turkey’s intelligence laws and of disclosing secret information. The case against Acarer is continuing.

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