World Bulletin / News Desk
A Turkish media union on Monday protested Israel over the killing of journalists and children during the Israeli army’s military offensive on the long-besieged Gaza City.
The attacks have claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 people so far.
Speaking at the rally near the Israeli Embassy residence in the Turkish capital Ankara, Gursel Eser, Chairman of Medya-Is Trade Union, accused Israel of specifically targeting journalists.
"Israel is committing a crime and when they start to pay for their crimes, the very eye-witnesses will be the journalists and their videos, photos and stories," said Eser.
"Israel is responsible for the attacks on media members in Gaza and the West Bank. They are trying to censor this humanitarian tragedy.”
Ten press members were killed and 38 others were injured in the four-week Israeli attacks on Gaza, Palestinian official sources said Monday.
Among the 38 injured, three are members of The Anadolu Agency.
More than 1,800 Palestinians, including 401 children and 238 women, were killed and around 9,500 were injured since July 7 in the Israeli attacks which did not discriminate between civilian and military targets.
At least 64 Israeli soldiers have also been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters and three civilians in rocket attacks.
"We don't want to make news about slayed children anymore"
The crowd at the rally - mainly journalists – chanted, "Murderer Israel, leave Palestine alone", "We want press freedom in Gaza" and "Israel, don't kill children.”
The Anadolu Agency Director-General and Board Chairman Kemal Ozturk was also present at the protest.
"We don't want to write about slayed children anymore," said Ozturk. "Dead bodies of children are kept in refrigerators where their ice cream used to be preserved. This is insufferable."
Ozturk called on all media organizations to stand against the killings in Gaza.
Ozturk sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, urging him to ensure the protection of journalists as stated in international agreements.
The letter of condemnation came after an Anadolu Agency cameraman, Enes Ebu Muaylik, was wounded while he was covering the Israeli bombardment of Gaza early Friday.
The Anadolu Agency’s reporters also have received their share of the attacks, with the building housing the AA office in Gaza hit by Israeli artillery on Tuesday.
In addition, thirteen homes belonging to journalists have been bombed while vehicles and 14 centers belonging to media workers have become targets.
Ozturk criticized the Israeli government for targeting the office even though the Israeli authorities had been officially informed of its coordinates.
At the end, the protesters put down their cameras and broke their pencils in half and threw in on the ground to honor their lost colleagues.
Medya-Is Chairman Eser then left a wreath in front of the Israeli Embassy entrance.
Anadolu Agency A targeted
The Anadolu Agency Director-General and Board Chairman Kemal Ozturk says the news agency has been targeted in Gaza on account of its influential coverage of last year’s incidents in Egypt.
Amid Israel's ongoing military onslaught on the Gaza Strip that killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians so far, AA’s reporters also received their share of the attacks, with the building housing the AA office in Gaza being twice hit by Israeli artillery recently.
"If you are strong in the field, you can make an impact," said Ozturk during a late night TV appearance on Monday.
“They make you pay when you influence public opinion and effect change in balances.”
The agency broadcast live from Egypt's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square during last year's anti-coup protests, as it now does from Gaza.
AA Director General maintained that when a country is influential and has a rising profile on the international arena, its strategic institutions like its news agency and airlines company also become targets.
Ozturk harshly criticized lack of a statement from world press unions regarding journalists targeted and killed during the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
He reminded that he had sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, urging him to ensure the protection of journalists as stated in international agreements.
The condemnation letter came after an Anadolu Agency cameraman, Enes Ebu Muaylik, was wounded while he was covering the Israeli bombardment of Gaza early Friday.
"On August 1, in the early hours of a 72-hour truce brokered by the United Nations, your soldiers opened fire on our team working in Khan Yunis," read the letter, where he said Israeli government will then be held responsible for any harm on AA reporters in Gaza in case of no precautions.
"Our office was hit twice although we already shared its coordinates with Israeli authorities. They knew the coordinates just like they know those of the United Nations schools in Gaza," Ozturk continued.
He said the second attack came just 2 or 3 hours after the press office of Israel’s Prime Ministry confirmed the receipt of the letter.
He stated later on Monday that AA would soon publish three books on the unfolding developments in recent years in Egypt, Gaza and Syria – to be published in Turkish, English and Arabic - that include photos, historical timelines, and first-hand experiences of its reporters in the field.Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Ağustos 2014, 09:22