Human RightsNews

Fighting impunity in journalist murders: A panel with Matthew Caruana Galizia


Matthew Caruana Galizia, Özge Mumcu, Dicle Anter and Meryem Göktepe came together at the Unsolved: Fighting impunity in journalist murders panel to share their own experiences and how all of it relates to our societies’ right to freedom of expression and right to information.

The panel took place at the Swedish Consulate and started with the speeches of Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) Director Barış Altıntaş, Swedish Consul Therese Hyden and panel moderator and International Press Institute Turkey Advocacy Coordinator Caroline Stockford.

‘Me and my brother are trying to bring justice for my mother’

Matthew Caruana Galizia stated that he had worked with his mother for over a year and a half before she was murdered. He said: “The people that killed her knew that they could not stop her. None of their harrassment stopped her from doing her job.” Caruana Galizia said that he and his brother are now trying to bring justice for the corruption issues that Daphne reported, and bring justice to her murder, he added: “Our fight is the same fight, and I know we can win it. The abusers and the corrupt ones are the ones that will lose.”

‘Is death, an end?’

Özge Mumcu, the daughter of investigative Cumhuriyet journalist Uğur Mumcu, who brought scores of corruption cases and mafia-politics links into daylight, started her speech by telling how great a journalist her father was and what he stood for. She stated that despite the public pressure, the perpetrator of his murder is still missing today. She said: “We founded the Uğur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation, because we wanted to do something after his death. We asked ourselves, what could’ve been done afterwards.”

‘Why secure his safety, if it’s planning to murder the man?’

Dicle Anter, the son of Özgür Gündem columnist Musa Anter, who was shot during a festival in Diyarbakır, began his speech by how they were unable to have a funeral for his father, and that he was buried without their knowledge. He stated: “Our lawyer worked really hard to bring the case to European Court of Human Rights (ECtHr) and it found the Turkish State guilty of ‘not ensuring security for Musa Anter’. Why would it ensure his security, if it’s going to murder him?”

Anter said that 95 journalists were killed since 1909, and that the system of the deep state stands behind these murders, and that is what they are fighting against.

‘Metin was my brother, and my comrade’

Metin Göktepe’s sister Meryem Göktepe, began her speech by telling Metin was a socialist journalist, and that he was also her comrade. Meryem Göktepe stated that before Metin was beaten to death in 1996, he followed the stories of people who disappeared in police custody and was very moved by their experiences. She added: “This was the reason why, I think, he shouted ‘I am Metin Göktepe, I am a journalist’ whilst he was being beaten.” Göktepe also said how every state official from the very top, agreed upon the lie that Metin was not taken into custody and how they all tried to cover up the truth, which came out eventually.