A court in Istanbul on Thursday sentenced Murat Şahin to three years in prison for an incident in 2016 when the man opened fire on veteran journalist Can Dündar, wounding another reporter in the process.
The court took into consideration Şahin’s good behaviour as it found him guilty of threats with a firearm, willful injury and possession of an unregistered firearm. Şahin’s full sentence was three years and 15 days in prison, and an additional 500 lira ($57).
The sentence was deferred, and Şahin will not be spending any time in prison unless he commits another crime in five years.
“Aren’t some judges great?” Dündar asked in a tweet after the ruling was announced. “The tender-hearted judge also lowered his sentence due to good behaviour and deferred the sentence. The man was already walking free. Attention, all assassins.”
“Turkey has become a place where tweeting against the government is more dangerous than shooting at an opposition journalist,” Dündar, who currently lives in Germany, said in another tweet.
“The interesting thing is that injuring somebody gets you a lesser sentence than threatening to do so,” tweeted Yağız Şenkal, the other reporter who was shot in his leg in the incident.
The current procedure was a retrial upon appeal, Şenkal said. “In the first judgement, the fine for injuring me was 4,500 liras ($517).”
The shooting happened on May 6, 2016, as Dündar defended himself at court over charges of treason. The journalist was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison on the same day. Soon after, he left Turkey to live in Germany.
Dündar was sentenced to more than 27 years in prison in Dec. 2020, but continues to live in Germany as Berlin rejected Ankara’s demands for extradition. In June this year, a Turkish court ruled to demand an Interpol red notice for the journalist, but the request was not accepted.