Prestigious Turkish journalism prizes awarded to Gezi stories
Journalist İsmail Saymaz.A prestigious journalism prize, named after assassinated Turkish journalist Abdi İpekçi, has been awarded this year to daily Radikal correspondent İsmail Saymaz over his report on slain Gezi protester Ali İsmail Korkmaz.
In the Aug. 23, 2013 report, titled “Lynch in 68 seconds,” Saymaz revealed security camera footage showing how Korkmaz was brutally beaten by a group of people with sticks in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir during last summer’s Gezi Park protests.
Korkmaz, 19, died on July 10 after spending 38 days in a coma induced by the savage beating, sparking outrage among protesters and throwing more fuel onto the Gezi protest fire.
In another eport, Saymaz had also revealed Korkmaz’s testimony, given at a police station before he went into a coma.
The Abdi İpekçi Award’s jury said they had honored Saymaz due to his contribution in the pursuit of human rights and the superiority of the law in Turkey. They particularly praised his dogged pursuit of the story and his effort to keep it on the national agenda after it was revealed.
The prize in the award’s photography category was given to photojournalist Osman Örsal for his remarkable “Woman in Red” photo, which showed a woman being shot with tear gas at point blank range by police. The photo became one of the iconic symbols of the Gezi protests.
Örsal also previously received an award in the “Vakıfbank-TFMD Journalism Photography Competition,” organized by the Turkey Photo Journalists Association (TFMD) for the same photo.