Syrian journalist Orouba Barakat and her daughter Hala murdered in Istanbul

Turkish police found the bodies of the Syrian journalist Dr. Orouba Barakat and her journalist daughter Hala on Thursday night in their apartment on the Asian side of Istanbul.

Turkish police has not issued any statement on the murder yet. The police encircled the house of the victims and started investigation and moved their bodies to the hospital.

Turkish paper Yeni Safak said the victims were stabbed with knives in their apartment in Uskudar, pointing out the murderers put detergent materials on the bodies so the smell would not spread.

Syrian journalists and activist mourned the death of Dr. Orouba and her daughter on social media.

President of the Syrian Journalists Association Ali Eid commented on the murder on Facebook saying, "we ask the Turkish authorities to speed up investigation in the murder of Orouba Barakat and her daughter and to hold the perpetrators accountable and we demand enhancing protection for Syrian journalists residing in Turkey."


Sources said it is likely the murder was an assassination. Shaza Barakat, Orouba' sister, wrote on Facebook, "the hand of tyranny and injustice assassinated my sister Doctor Orouba and her daughter Hala in their apartment in Istanbul. We mourn our fierce fighting sister for justice who was displaced by Baath regime since the 80s until it finally killed her in a strange land."

Journalist Amer Shahda said to SJA website that the contact was lost with Orouba and her daughter in the past two days and they informed Turkish police which found them murdered in their apartment in Istanbul.

Shahda excluded the possibility that the murder was motivated by theft. He said it is likely the Syrian regime or ISIS have committed the crime especially that Istanbul did not witness such incidents against Syrian journalists.

The 60-year-old Dr. Orouba was a former member of the opposition Syrian National Council. She is considered one of the fiercest opposition figures for the regime which forcibly displaced her from Syria in the 80s. she worked in media field where she prepared different reports and participated in opposition protests and events in Istanbul. Recently, she was working on development projects to support Syrian refugee women.

Hala, Orouba's 22-year old daughter, was a media professional. She worked for Orient Media Institution for year and half and resigned two weeks ago, to start another job.

Several assassinations against Syrian journalists took place in Turkey including the murder of Naji al-Jaraf and Zaher al-Sherqat in border city of Gaziantep and activist Ibrahim Abdul Qader in Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently Campaign in Urfa city and ISIS was responsible for these assassinations.