Berlin (dpa) – Government-critical Turkish journalist Erk Acarer, who lives in German exile, has been attacked in Berlin. According to the police, Acarer was injured by several attackers in the Neukölln district on Wednesday evening.
He suffered a head injury and received medical treatment. The attack took place around 9.50 pm in the courtyard of his house in the Rudow district. Two men punched and kicked the 48-year-old journalist, and a third man observed the area. When witnesses found out, the men fled, police said.
The state security responsible for politically motivated acts is determined by the National Criminal Investigation Department (LKA). Numerous journalists and politicians expressed their solidarity with Acarer. Police initially declined to say who might be behind the attack.
“I know the perpetrators”
After the attack, Acarer tweeted a photo of himself on Wednesday evening, writing in Turkish: “I was attacked with a knife and fist in my home in Berlin.” His life is not in danger, has some swelling on his head and is in the hospital. “I know the perpetrators. I will never surrender to fascism.” He and his family are under police protection.
In a video from Thursday morning, the journalist spoke about three attackers with weapons. One of them said, “You’re not going to write.” Because there were many witnesses in the courtyard, the attackers could not have used the weapons. He further said: “This attack is proof that everything we have written and said against the Islamic and fascist AKP-MHP government is correct.”
Politically motivated attack?
The AKP is the party of the ruling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It forms a government alliance with the ultra-nationalist MHP, without which it would not have a majority in parliament.
Acarer, who has lived in Berlin for some time, was accused of other journalists in Turkey. They were accused of releasing classified information about state security and intelligence activities. According to Amnesty International, the background included reports of a Turkish secret service employee murdered in Libya.
Green Bundestag member Cem Özdemir tweeted: “It is outrageous that exiles from Turkey in this country should fear for their safety. (…) I look forward to the response from the federal government.” Left-wing member of the Bundestag Sevim Dağdelen wrote: “Erdogan’s accomplices attacked an exiled journalist in his Berlin apartment with knives. How long does the federal government want it to last? keep an eye on life-threatening goings on in the Erdogan network?” Many journalists of Turkish origin also accused Erdogan of being responsible for the attack.