Longtime Defense News Turkey correspondent Burak Bekdil dies at 57

Longtime Defense News contributor journalist Burak Ege Bekdil died in an Ankara hospital following surgery complications after a prior motorbike accident, according to family and colleagues in Turkey.

Bekdil had a decades-long career in journalism, writing for Turkish outlets on politics and international relations, as well as English-language defense publications such as Defense News, where his bylines go back to 1997.

According to an Oct. 22 obituary in Hürriyet Daily News, where he worked as a reporter and columnist starting in the 1990s, he also served as Ankara bureau chief for the now-defunct CNBC-e television channel in the early 2000s.

Bekdil was featured in a 2002 article from Deutschlandfunk, a German news radio station, which reported that his beliefs about free speech had landed him in hot water with the authorities at the time.

His reporting for Defense News married a deep knowledge of regional geopolitics with a knack for well-sourced news, composed in the artful tone of a writer accustomed to the peculiarities of political life in the NATO member state. His story on how Russia was sending a clear message to Turkey when it bombed the Ukrainian business Motor Sich, which makes engines for Turkish aircraft, has been among this year’s most read stories, Mike Gruss, editor-in-chief of Sightline Media Group, which publishes Defense News, wrote in a note to staff.

The story examined the fallout from a strike on a potential supplier to the growing Turkish-Ukrainian defense industry ties.

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