The International Press Institute (IPI) condemned the Turkish police violence against journalists covering the protests yesterday, July 20, in Istanbul and İzmir, and called for an immediate end to the use of excessive force. According to local reports, at least 20 reporters and photojournalists were beaten by the police and injured by rubber bullets.

Local media reports how freelance (photo)journalists Emre Orman, Yasin Akgül, Zeynep Kuray, Ozan Acıdere, Fatoş Erdoğan of Dokuz8 News and photojournalists Bülent Kılıç of AFP and Erdem Şahin of EPA were attacked by the police while covering the commemoration and protests in Istanbul for the 33 people killed in a suicide bomb attack by the Islamic State (ISIL) in the southeastern province of Suruç, Gaziantep in 2015.

IPI spoke to freelance journalist Emre Orman, who was beaten by the police and injured with an officer’s fist in his eye. Orman stressed that this felt like the first all-out attack by the police targeting journalists since the Gezi Park protests in 2013. “We are used to be pushed around with police shields, and even hit by not-directly-aimed rubber bullets. But, for the first time since Gezi protests, it felt like we were directly targeted and aimed at with rubber bullets. I was pressed against the TOMA [anti-riot police vehicle] and hit in the face by a police officer but eventually managed to escape from them while they were trying to detain me”, Orman said.

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