ANKARA | International news agencies on Thursday expressed solidarity with Anadolu Agency following violent attacks by Israeli police on journalists in Jerusalem.
“While carrying out their professional duties, four of our reporters sustained serious injuries. Our journalists chronicling the events on the ground while abiding by the principles of journalism are facing a frightening situation,” said Serdar Karagoz, the director general of Anadolu Agency, in a letter to other news agencies.
The letter was sent to the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA), the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA), the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN), and the Association of the Balkan News Agencies – Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE).
In response to Karagoz’s letter, EANA called on Israel “to secure journalists’ physical integrity and working conditions even during these hard times.”
“The Board of EANA learned that four journalists of Anadolu experienced dangerous situations and injuries during a clash between Israeli police and protesters in East Jerusalem, and strongly calls on authorities to protect their physical integrity and working conditions,” the European news agency said.
The agency noted that allowing journalists to perform their duties shows governments and states’ “willingness towards transparency and manifest support of democratic values.”
“Journalists should be allowed to do their jobs without fear of injury or pressure of any kind,” it added.
Meanwhile, OANA President CHO Sung-boo, in a letter to Karagoz, said: “It is gravely disturbing and regrettable that Anadolu Agency journalists were seriously injured while carrying out their duties.”
“Violence against journalists goes against our shared, cherished values and should never be tolerated,” he said, while calling for solidarity to condemn “attacks against journalism.”
Additionally, the Board of Directors of ABNA-SE expressed deep concern “over respect for press freedom to provide coverage of events.”
“We have learned that some Anadolu Agency journalists have been injured while covering the security forces’ assault on worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. ABNA-SE hopes for the speedy recovery of Anadolu Agency journalists and photojournalists,” it added.
The international news agency also urged “authorities to allow journalists to carry out their noble mission of covering the truth.”
Anadolu Agency, founded in 1920, is a leading global news agency operating across the world. It serves subscribers in more than 100 countries, reaching 6,000 news outlets worldwide in 13 languages every day.
Turgut Alp Boyraz, the agency’s MENA news editor, was shot twice by Israeli police in two separate incidents while covering recent events.
Boyraz, a veteran journalist with eight years of experience with the agency, was shot in the foot with a plastic bullet last Friday while covering a raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque’s Haram al-Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem. This Monday, he was shot in the leg with two rubber bullets in another Israeli police raid on the flashpoint mosque.
He was one of four Anadolu Agency journalists attacked by Israeli police. Anadolu Agency correspondent Esat Firat, who has worked for the agency since 2016, and two photographers were targeted on Monday while covering Israeli security forces’ attacks on worshipers at Al-Aqsa.
Fayez Abu Rumaila, an Anadolu Agency photojournalist in occupied East Jerusalem since 2018, was brutally attacked by Israeli occupation forces while covering clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.