Leaked letter reveals plot to assassinate Turkish journalists

Aydin Engin and Murat Belge, the two targets named in the letter.

Aydin Engin and Murat Belge, the two targets named in the letter.

A secret letter, delivered this week to the office of Turkish news site T24 has revealed a plot to assassinate two Turkish journalists.

The journalists, Aydin Engin and Murat Belge, are both well-known columnists working for liberal publications in Turkey. It is thought that the plot to murder them may have been organised by far-right or ultranationalist Turks, though no news in this regards has yet been revealed.

Belge, however, stated that he did not think the letter revealed a serious plot from right-wing groups, and that he thinks that it is part a governmental attempt to use fear to suppress his work.

“I have been writing critical articles against the government since the Gezi protests. I guess they want to frighten, seize the hand of the writer and stop his writing” he told reporters at T24.

The letter, found on Monday evening, named the two journalists as targets saying “decisions have been made for Aydın Engin and Murat Belge, and individuals have been assigned. The date will be announced consequently.” The letter also hinted at a possible far-right sentiment of its writer with se of the phrase “as a patriot”. The letter however was unsigned and unstamped, and the identity of its writer or its original recipient are currently unknown.

Murat Belge, one of the journalists targetted, is a columnist and social commentator well-known for his outspoken liberal and secular views. He is well-recorded as being critical of the current Turkish government and of many aspects of Turkish culture, especially religiously conservative groups.

Aydin Enging works as a columnist for Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, a publication known for its liberal and sometimes critical views of the Turkish establishment. It is thought that the pair may have been targeted for sharing views considered anti-Turkish.

Currently Turkish authorities have not commented on the news and no information has been revealed regarding an investigation.

The original letter, published by T24

The original letter, published by T24

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