Sedat Ergin becomes new Hürriyet editor-in-chief
ISTANBULSedat Ergin, Hürriyet’s new editor-in-chief, has been introduced to the employees of Turkey’s leading newspaper at the company’s headquarters in Istanbul.
“Our destiny is in our name. One word: Hürriyet,” chairwoman Vuslat Doğan Sabancı said at the ceremony on Aug. 25, referring to the newspaper’s title, which means “Freedom” in Turkish.
Doğan Sabancı stressed that Hürriyet has been “the flagship of the Turkish media” for the past five decades. “Unfortunately, the polarization in society is reflected in the media now and political partiality has surpassed journalism,” she said.
“All freedoms are important, but one of them is particularly special to us: Freedom of speech,” she added, noting that all opinions and identities should be able to express themselves in every environment “to let creative ideas blossom.”
“Almost all newspapers, except Hürriyet, present their readers with one-sided, monophonic articles nowadays,” Doğan Sabancı said, voicing hope that the newspaper would continue to present a “polyphony” to its readers under the leadership of Ergin, who is also a senior columnist for the newspaper.
“As a master journalist who knows jazz and polyphony very well, Sedat Ergin, who never abandoned basing his commentary on facts in an ethical style, will now conduct the polyphonic orchestra of Hürriyet,” she said.
Ergin, who previously served as daily Milliyet’s editor-in-chief for almost five years, stressed in his own speech that Hürriyet was the only Turkish newspaper that makes headlines whenever it makes an internal change.
“I believe that this is because of the bond that we have formed with our readers,” he said, vowing to continue Hürriyet’s leadership in journalism and media technologies.
Ergin was born in Istanbul in 1957. After graduating from Robert College, he studied literature at Boğaziçi University, during which time he worked part-time for the Turkish News Agency. His aim was then to study political science and become a diplomat.
He won a place at Ankara University’s Political Sciences Faculty’s International Relations Department and started working full-time at the Ankara office of the Turkish News Agency. Soon after, he was transferred to work at the Ankara office of daily Cumhuriyet.
By the time he had graduated from university, Ergin had already completed seven years of work as a journalist, and eventually forewent his dream of becoming a diplomat, choosing instead to continue as a journalist. Ironically, in pursuit of this career, Ergin became such an effective and respected reporter that he stood head and shoulders above many diplomats in terms of diplomatic standing.
He was appointed as Hürriyet’s Washington representative in 1987 and the newspaper’s Ankara representative six years later. After a period from 2005 to 2009 as Milliyet’s editor-in-chief, he returned to write his regular column in Hürriyet.
Although he is now primarily a columnist, his pieces have tended to carry heavy traces of his roots as a news reporter, and he has always underlined that a good journalist must be more than simply honest, but must also have a strong conscience.
Over the years, Ergin has been given a number of notable awards in the realm of investigative journalism and on the subject of freedom of the press.