I could not attend this years Global Media Forum organized by Deutsche Welle. It is one of my favorite conferences to attend. I have also been a Jury member at DW’s BOBS Awards for three years.
As far as I could observe, Freedom of Speech Award nomination process was not much transparent and we are not told the reasons for why Mr Ergin was chosen.
I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Ergin for my PhD project at some point and I know he is such an elegant and knowledgeable person. However, I am not sure he has been known to freedom causes and for me he and his newspaper, Hürriyet, represent the old Westernized but nationalist elites of Turkey.
Since the landslide AKP victory on November 1, 2015 Hürriyet leadership opted a pro-Establishement line. Hürriyet is the only Turkish daily I follow regularly and I witness how this daily publishes anti-Kurdish pieces probably produced by Turkey’s intelligence circles. Not only the content but also the headlines are frequently in line with Turkish war establishment’s voices.
Doğan Media Group, owner of Hürriyet, is frequently in conflict with AKP government and some circles think this group is the last bastion of freedom [as Kai Diekmann the publishing editor of Bild said below] but the conflict is a battle between two classes of policy elites who never cared for freedom.
In the last analysis, awarding process seems to have depended on personal networks and some policy concerns in behalf of Deutsche Welle (may be not to anger Turkey more?) and it gravely weakend DW’s attitude towards media freedom causes in Turkey.
Sedat Ergin, the editor-in-chief of Turkish daily Hürriyet, has received Deutsche Welle’s second annual Freedom of Speech Award
Kai Diekmann the publishing editor of Bild has said on June 13 that the Hürriyet daily was one of the last remaining, loud voices of Turkey