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Turkish union protests Israel over murdered journalists

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. 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.

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