Deputy PM Babacan presents journalism award for 'Erdoğan leak' story
Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan presented the award to Mehtap Özcan Ertürk.The Economy Journalists Association’s (EGD) “Best News” award has gone to a report about a leaked phone conversation allegedly between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son related to the graft investigation probe. Surprisingly, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan presented the award to a reporter of fiercely anti-government daily Sözcü, which published the winning piece.
The report, written by Sözcü’s Mehtap Özcan Ertürk, stated that those who uploaded the recording to YouTube had earned $100,000 from the video-sharing website.
In his speech at the June 19 ceremony, Babacan said journalism should be “impartial” and added that Turkey could “move forward if journalists write the facts without being influenced by anything else.”
A number of sensational phone conversations were posted on YouTube ahead of Turkey’s March 30 local elections, amid high political tension in the wake of the corruption probe late last year. One of the recordings, leaked in February, appears to reveal Prime Minister Erdoğan asking his son Bilal to “zero” millions of euros stashed at several houses.
In an expert report submitted by Turkey’s science watchdog, TÜBİTAK, to the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office on June 6, the leaked recordings of Erdoğan were claimed to be “montages.”