Reporter at disaster site targeted by man with hammer
A TV journalist who has been reporting from Turkey's earthquake zone from literally the very first instants of the twin quakes on 6 February was targeted on Thursday in the southeastern city of Malatya by a man who threw insults and threats during a live broadcast.
İşte Halk TV muhabiri Ferit Demir ve ekibine canlı yayında çekiçli saldırının ekrana yansımayan anları— Halk TV (@halktvcomtr) February 23, 2023
The man approached brandishing a hammer and making threats, as journalist Ferit Demir was in the process of giving information on operations carried out in disaster sites, for both search and rescue and for the removal of debris.
Some seconds after Demir said that the rubble behind him has been left untouched after search and rescue teams concluded eight days after the building's collapse that there was nobody alive under the rubble, insults were heard in the background, one swearing at Demir and telling him "to stop misbehaving," and "not to tell lies."
The angry man approached, intimidatingly holding a hammer, while somebody else was heard in the background saying, "The state is everywhere."
Demir recounted the incident:
"A man in a passing truck started yelling out from the window, 'You're lying, the state is here.' He got out with a hammer and approached us. He threw threats, saying 'I'll kill you all.' Two passerby said I was telling the facts. He threatened them, said 'I'll kill you too. You shall not criticize the government.' Two police officers arrived a while later. We said we would file a complaint, but they refused to launch a process. They said, 'We cannot register your complaint because the man did not strike with the hammer. Maybe he was nervous because of some problem he was dealing with.' We insisted, but they left without registering our complaint."
Demir was earlier targeted by police officers in plain uniform for reporting at a quake site.