The 2015 “Press Freedom Prize” was granted to wife of jailed Editor-in-chief of Turkish daily Cumhuriyet Can Dündar, in front of the Silivri prison, on Jan. 8.
Meanwhile, the “watch of hope” for solidarity with jailed journalists was taken over on its 38th day by Sami Elvan, father of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan who was killed due to police violence during Gezi Protests.
The prize promoting freedom of media was presented by İzmir Journalists Association to Dilek Dündar, wife of Can Dündar who was arrested over a story on Syria-bound National Intelligence Agency (MİT) trucks that were allegedly carrying weapons to fighters in Syria, along with daily Cumhuriyet's Ankara correspondent Erdem Gül.
Can Dündar was planned to be awarded on July 24, Press Freedom day, however due to terror incidents it was cancelled, said Mayor of İzmir's Karşıyaka Hüseyin Mutlu Akpınar. The award ceremony expected to be held on October 10 was struck by Ankara massacre that killed hundreds, and then “unfourtanetly Dündar's freedom was taken after Nov. 1 elections” added Akpınar.
“For the first time in the world, a press freedom prize was offered in front of a prison” he stressed.
“Some 32 journalists have been in jail as of today” also noted İzmir Journalists Association Head Misket Dikmen.
Dilek Dündar who has received the award on behalf of her husband commented “she has never lost hope from the country”.
“Journalists have been punished for their efforts to inform the public for years” Dilek Dündar said.
Dozens have been taking over the “watch of hope” in front of Silivri prison to show solidarity with the two jailed journalists, Dündar and Gül. Father of Berkin Elvan, a young boy who was shot by police during Gezi Demonstrations, then died after hundreds of days in coma and stirred protests across the country, has taken over the watch.