The New York Times correspondent Turkey saved from Libya dies in Syria

Published 18.02.2012 00:00
Updated 29.05.2012 15:12

Anthony Shadid, the New York Times’ Middle East correspondent, passed away in Syria due to an asthma attack. Shadid, who was saved by Turkey when he was held captive by Gaddafi forces during the civil war in Libya, was just 43 years old.

Abdurragıp Soylu / İSTANBUL

The New York Times' Beirut Bureau Chief, two Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Anthony Shadid lost his life in Syria from an asthma attack as he was covering the conflict. According to sources, Shadid, who is of Lebanese origin, secretly crossed the border from Turkey into the Syrian town of Idlib, accompanied by photojournalist Tyler Hicks. Shadid was covering a story for the New York Times on the Free Syrian Army and attacks by units under the orders of Bashar al-Assad. Shadid was following guides on horses in Syria when he suffered a severe asthma attack.


Shadid's companion, photojournalist Tyler Hicks, performed cardio pulmonary resuscitation for 30 minutes, however Shadid did not recover and Hicks carried him back to Turkey past the border. İbrahim Kalın, the Chief Advisor to the Prime Ministry, announced on Twitter that Shadid's body was in the Adana Forensic Medicine Institution and the well-known journalist's friends and family were also there. Speaking to the New York Times, Shadid's father Buddy Shadid explained that his son had suffered from asthma all of his life and his worst allergy was to horses. Shadid's father also stated that his son had chosen not to use a car because it was too dangerous. In a statement released following Shadid's death, owner and publisher of the New York Times, Arthur Sulzberger states, 'Anthony was one of our generation's finest reporters. He was also an exceptionally kind and generous human being. We were fortunate to have Anthony as a colleague, and we mourn his death." Once the autopsy has been completed, Shadid will be buried in Bierut.


State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç released a message of condolences in which he stated that the famous correspondent was appreciated all over the world for his objective reporting. Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu stated, "Shadid was not just an excellent journalist, he was also a true friend." Shadid, an American citizen of Lebanese heritage, was one of four journalists who were held captive for six days in Libya in March, 2011 for trying to cover the violence. It was Turkey's intervention that allowed the journalists to be set free and they returned to the United States via Turkey.


Shadid, who has worked for the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe and AP in order to provide a reliable news source from Iraq, Libya, Turkey and the Middle East, was just 43 years old. Shadid, who in 2002 was shot in the shoulder by an Israeli soldier when he was assigned to the West Bank, is considered to be one of the most courageous journalists of all time. In 2004, when he was just 35 years old, Shadid won his first of two Pulitzer Prizes for "international reporting" and the award committee referred to "his extraordinary ability to capture, at personal peril, the voices and emotions of Iraqis as their country was invaded, their leader toppled and their way of life upended". In 2010, the famous correspondent won his second Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Iraq following the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Shadid also wrote a series of articles for the New York Times prior to the June 12th, 2011 elections. Shadid had written that Turkey is in itself an answer to solving Middle East issues. Shadid, who has been a journalist since 1990, has also written three books. Shadid leaves behind his wife and two children.

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