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29 Feb, 2020 22:20

Thugs break into homes of 3 Sputnik employees in Ankara, shout anti-Russian & nationalist slogans

Thugs break into homes of 3 Sputnik employees in Ankara, shout anti-Russian & nationalist slogans

Groups of people broke into the homes of three staffers from Russia’s Sputnik news agency in Ankara, Turkey, chanting “Turkey for the Turks” and accusing the journalists of treason, RT’s editor-in-chief tweeted.

What appears to be a coordinated attack on Sputnik employees in the Turkish capital was first reported by Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT and Sputnik on Saturday, and later confirmed by Sputnik news agency itself.

Simonyan tweeted that three separate groups, each numbering about 10, swooped in on the apartments of three of the news agency’s employees, hurling threats and accusing them of betraying their homeland, Turkey, for working as journalists for the Russian outlet.

“They were shouting: ‘Turkey for the Turks!’ ‘Traitors!’ and ‘Russian spies!’” Simonyan tweeted, comparing the raids to the pogroms against ethnic Armenians by Turks in the Ottoman Empire.

“My great-grandmothers would have experienced déjà vu now.”

Also on rt.com ‘Get out of the way, let us deal with Assad regime’, Erdogan says he told Putin regarding Idlib, Syria

Simonyan noted that she was awaiting a police response to the assaults, adding that it’s unclear how the perpetrators obtained the home addresses of “not the most public of our employees.”

The news agency confirmed that unknown people attempted to storm the apartments of three of its journalists.

Police were called to the scene. However, by the time officers arrived, the attackers were already gone, the agency said. No one was hurt as a result of the incident.

The attack comes at a time of rising tensions between Moscow and Ankara. While partners in the Astana peace process, the two countries have been increasingly at odds over the Syrian Army’s counter-terrorism offensive in Idlib against armed militants, some of which are backed by Turkey.

The situation escalated further after Turkey said that 33 of its troops were killed in a Syrian strike on the last militant stronghold this week, vowing retaliation against Damascus and calling for NATO consultations on the issue.

Also on rt.com Thanks NATO, but what about missiles? Ankara urges US to deploy Patriot systems to Turkey amid Idlib standoff

While the US-led military alliance sided with Turkey, blaming both Syria and Russia for the flare-up in Idlib, NATO stopped short of pledging any additional military assistance to Ankara, prompting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to ask the US to redeploy Patriot anti-aircraft missiles on Turkish soil.

Moscow dismissed the accusations, saying the slain Turkish troops were embedded with terrorists and were not supposed to be in the area at the time of the bombing in the first place. Ankara, despite suffering heavy casualties, refused to withdraw its troops. On Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Russia to “get out of our way” and let Turkey deal with the Syrian military.

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