Feb 10 2018

Ahval's editor-in-chief becomes the first foreign recipient of German award

Ahval's editor-in-chief, Yavuz Baydar, became the first foreign recipient of the prestigious German award for "Excellence in Journalism" of the Southeast Europe Foundation (Südosteuropa Gesellschaft).

Baydar was presented his award during a ceremony held in Berlin's Humboldt University on Saturday.

Journalists from leading German media organisations and some Balkan countries, representatives of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Turkish academics and the representatives of German Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the ceremony.

Michael Thumann, the former representative of Die Zeit, Turkey, who presented the award, praised Baydar's professional conduct and highlighted the importance of his journalistic integrity within the limited space allowed for journalists in Turkey.

Thumann, during his speech, drew attention to the complicated nature of reality in recent Turkey and the complexity of covering Turkish news stories.

During his brief speech, Baydar talked about the grave concerns he held for Turkey's departure from democratic norms and underscored his belief that Turkey's systemic collapse and its aftereffects might be long-lasting.

Baydar said that he is committed to continuing his work as an objective reporter, and dedicated his award to all Turkish journalists and especially the professionals still in prison.

Baydar, who came to prominence in the Turkish media in the 1990s after beginning his journalistic career in Sweden and France, worked as a reporter, editor, ombudsman and commentator for various media organisations.

He also served as the president of the Organization of News Ombudsmen (ONO) 2003–2004 and received the Special Award of the European Press Prize for his fight against censorship and defence of professional values in Turkey in 2014.

Yavuz Baydar was among the founders of Punto24, a platform for independent journalism in Turkey, and in October 2017, he founded Ahval, an independent news website in three languages with a focus on Turkish news.