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Turkey remembers assassinated journo Ugur Mumcu

Turkey remembers assassinated journo Ugur Mumcu
Mumcu was killed in bomb attack in capital Ankara in 1993

By Tanju Ozkaya

ANKARA (AA) - Turkey on Friday commemorated veteran journalist Ugur Mumcu who was assassinated in the country's capital Ankara 27 years ago.

Born in the central Kirsehir province, Mumcu was 51 when he was assassinated by a bomb placed in his car on Jan. 24, 1993.

Beginning to write as a law student at Ankara University in 1961-1965, he received a Yunus Nadi Award for his article Turkish Socialism published in Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.

After graduating, he worked as an assistant to Tahsin Bekir Balta, a professor at Ankara University's Faculty of Law, in 1969-1972.

He then began his journalism career, where he penned dozens of books and hundreds of research articles.

Mumcu's motto, "A journalist must be a trustworthy person," continues to be a key tenet for future journalists in faculties of communication across Turkey.

Defining journalism as the "medium of talking about struggles in all areas of life," Mumcu was widely-respected for his credibility and work.

Known for his work on corruption allegations, illegal organizations and their connections, Mumcu had the confidence to say: "You couldn't deny any topic I researched and wrote until yesterday morning. So, hit me, tear me apart."

- Writer of memorable works

When he was a student, Mumcu went on trial on charges of insulting the military, after he said that the "must be vigilant," in an article. He served only one year of his seven-year sentence after a decision by a higher court.

In 1977, he began to write exclusively for Cumhuriyet and continued his writing a column series titled Observation until November 1991.

His book, The Objectionable Infantry, was published in 1977, and was later adapted to the theater and staged hundreds of times at the Ankara Art Theater.

Mumcu debuted in 1981 his book, Arms Smuggling and Terrorism, which revealed the relationship between terrorism and arms trafficking and raise public awareness on the issue.

In the same year, Mumcu wrote an article on Mehmet Ali Agca, who had recently tried to assassinate Pope Jean Paul II.

Mumcu's books Connection and September 12 were published in 1987. Kurdish-Islamic Uprising 1919-1925, another prominent research subject for Mumcu, was published in 1991.

- What is known about Mumcu's assassination?

IBDA-C and Hezbollah assumed responsibility for Mumcu's assassination, but the case remains unresolved as the perpetrators were not found during a trial filed six years after Mumcu's death.

While Hezbollah is listed as a terror organization by the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Arab League, the EU currently recognizes only the group’s military wing as such.

The case, which was held at the 11th Heavy Penal Court in Ankara, became known as the Operation Hope file, as it covered the murders of numerous communists including Ahmet Taner Kislali, Muammer Aksoy, and Bahriye Ucok.

Three defendants were sentenced to prison for establishing and managing the illegal organization of Selam-Tevhid and the Army of Jerusalem, while five others were sentenced for membership in the same organization.

* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur in Ankara

source: News Feed
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