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Mon 1 May 2017 09:27 AM

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Dubai-based, Persian TV channel owner gunned down

Killed along with a Kuwaiti business partner in the upscale Maslak district of Istanbul

Dubai-based, Persian TV channel owner gunned down
GEM TV confirmed that Karimian had died but without making clear the circumstances of the death. (Getty Images)

The owner of Dubai Persian-language satellite entertainment channel was shot dead by unknown individuals in Istanbul in an unexplained assassination, Turkish media reports said on Sunday.

Said Karimian, the owner of the GEM TV Group and a British citizen of Iranian origin, was gunned down late Saturday along with a Kuwaiti business partner in the upscale Maslak district of Istanbul, the Hurriyet newspaper said.

Initial reports on Saturday had said two Iranians had been killed, without giving the identities.

In a statement on its Facebook page, GEM TV confirmed that Karimian had died but without making clear the circumstances of the death.

“With great sorrow and regret we announce the death of Said Karimian,” it said, describing him as a “great man who with a pure and kind spirit spent his life with honesty and sincerity for dignity of Iran”.

Kuwait's state-run KUNA news agency quoted the Kuwaiti consul general in Istanbul as saying that a Kuwaiti citizen was shot and killed in Istanbul late Saturday.

Dogan news agency said that the two men were shot dead while driving in the Maslak area by individuals in another vehicle who blocked the path of their car, got out, and gunned them down.

The assailants got away in their vehicle which was then found burned out in the Istanbul district of Kemerburgaz. Police are still trying to find them, Dogan said.

Footage broadcast by the news agency showed the targeted vehicle in Maslak with at least one bullet hole through the window.

It also showed that the suspected getaway car had been turned into a burned out wreck after being left in the hard shoulder of a road and set on fire.

Reports said that Karimian died on the spot after the shooting while the Kuwaiti later died in hospital.

GEM-TV offers Western programmes to Persian-speaking audiences that are not available in Iran including US game shows and Turkish soaps.

It is regarded with disdain by Tehran which sees such satellite channels as trying to culturally infiltrate the population and Westernise their lifestyle.