Communications director expresses concern for Turkish journalists in US amid civil unrest

Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has expressed concerns about journalists covering violent protests for Turkish outlets in the U.S., in a phone call with U.S. ambassador to Turkey, David Satterfield, on Wednesday.

Altun said the U.S. administration provided reassurance of monitoring the situation.

The communications director said peaceful protests were legitimate while acts of violence were categorically illegitimate in democracies.

Altun added that the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and ANTIFA, which cooperates with the YPG/PKK terrorists in Syria, have been supporting acts of violence in the U.S.

He said Turkey will continue to work closely with the U.S. against all terrorist groups, including FETÖ and the YPG/PKK.

The death of African-American George Floyd in police custody has sparked violent protests in the U.S.

Journalists from Turkey’s English-language public broadcaster, TRT World, came in the line of fire in Washington and Minneapolis Tuesday while covering the protests when the police used rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

Sally Ayhan, TRT World’s Washington correspondent, was hit in the chest and leg by plastic bullets on live TV.

Another TRT correspondent, Lionel Donovan and cameramen Barbaros Sayilgan from Minneapolis also came under attack. Donovan was injured when a bullet hit his groin.

Anger grew over several incidents targeting news workers covering the ongoing civil unrest.

According to the New York-based nongovernmental organization the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least 68 incidents of police arresting journalists, assaulting them, or damaging their equipment were reported during the protests.

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