Turkish PM Erdoğan won’t receive German rights award
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Some 20,000 demonstrate against awarding Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with the Steiger award in Bochum, western Germany, on March 17. AFP photoThe organizers of a German prize for humanity and tolerance said March 17 they will not honor Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with an award because Erdoğan will not be in Germany at the time of the award ceremony, due to a cancelled visit.
The plan to award Erdoğan the 2012 Steiger Award had been heavily criticized in Germany, where the Turkish authorities have been accused of human rights abuses, notably against the minority Kurdish population. The award’s organizers said they changed their mind because Erdoğan did not travel to Germany to receive the award at a ceremony on the evening of March 17 in Bochum. Erdoğan cancelled his trip to Germany after the deaths of 12 Turkish soldiers in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. German police said some 25,000 people, mostly of Turkish origin, demonstrated on March 17 in Bochum. Among them were members of minorities such as the Kurds, who accuse Erdoğan of persecuting their community. Erdoğan had originally been due to receive the prize “in the name of the Turkish people” on the 50th anniversary of a pact between Germany and Turkey to admit hundreds of thousands of Turkish workers to Germany.