Hürriyet Editor-in-chief Ergin honored with Freedom of Speech Award

Hürriyet Editor-in-chief Ergin honored with Freedom of Speech Award

Hürriyet Editor-in-chief Ergin honored with Freedom of Speech Award Sedat Ergin, the editor-in-chief of Turkish daily Hürriyet, has received Deutsche Welle’s second annual Freedom of Speech Award.

“It is a great honor for me to be the recipient of the Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award today,” Ergin said during his speech at the Global Media Forum in Bonn, where he received the award on June 13. 

“Awards are generally meant to bring contentment to their recipients. However, receiving an award for freedom of expression is not such a happy occasion,” he said.  “It cannot be common for the editor-in-chief of the biggest newspaper of an EU candidate country to go about with a body guard in an armored car. On the 41st year of my professional life this is the point I have come to,” he said. 

Read Sedat Ergin's full speech here.

Ergin has been on trial since March for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

Deutsche Welle named him the recipient of this year’s award which honors persons who exemplify human rights and free speech. “We want to send a clear signal to Turkey,” said Deutsche Welle Director General Peter Limbourg. 

Kai Diekmann the publishing editor of Bild said the Hürriyet daily was "one of the last remaining, loud voices of Turkey." 

In a laudatory speech he delivered during the event in Bonn, Diekmann said people in Turkey deserved a free and independent press.

Read Kai Diekmann's full speech here.

Headquarters of Hürriyet was attacked on Sept. 6, 2015,  by a group of protestors including former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy and current Youth and Sports Deputy Minister Abdurrahim Boynukalın. 

On Sept. 30, Ahmet Hakan, a columnist for the daily was assaulted by four men. 

Since 2015, the Freedom of Speech Award has been part of Deutsche Welle’s “The Bobs - Best of Online Activism.” 

Last year the inaugural award went to Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who has been held in prison since 2012.

His wife, Ensaf Haider, collected that award on his behalf.