In June 2016, Sedat Ergin, then editor-in-chief of Turkey’s Hürriyet newspaper, took the stage at the Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany to accept the DW Freedom of Speech Award.
Deutsche Welle Director General Peter Limbourg stated that Ergin was receiving the award because of his commitment to free expression and the fact that his newspaper was one of the few remaining independent voices in Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was cracking down on the media using strong-arm tactics that included attacking publishers and detaining journalists. At the time, Ergin himself was facing charges of insulting the president.
“[Ergin] shares the fate of hundreds of journalists in Turkey who are exposed to high risks every day in the struggle to maintain independent journalism and press freedom,” Limbourg said.
In accepting the award, Ergin stressed the importance of a free and independent media in holding government to task and the role of free expression in democratic societies.