Zaman Shares ’Democracy Award’ With Radikal

February 11, 2004, Wednesday/ 00:00:00/ ZAFER ÖZCAN
The Turk Democracy Association (TDV), which conducts studies to promote democracy in Turkey, granted the Turkish Media Democracy Award to Zaman and Radikal. The awards will be presented to the newspapers' owners in a ceremony to be held at the Association's headquarters on February 27. The Board, gather under the auspices of Prof. Ergun Ozbudun, determines which press entity deserves the democracy award by scanning newspapers for articles promoting human rights and democracy. In a description of the awards, TDV President, Emre Kocaoglu, said: "We examined news published in 2002 and the first half of 2003 claiming human rights and democracy most efficiently. Zaman and Radikal came in first. This is not a subjective evaluation-- it is a completely statistical result." Kocaoglu said the studies continued for several months and the press scan will be published as an anthology.

Additionally, TDV awarded the International Amnesty Organization's Turkey Branch in the category of civilian society for its fight against the death penalty. The Turkish Physicians' Union, which efficiently defends its members as a professional foundation, and the Parliamentary Human Rights commission which conducts district and provincial human rights foundation work, were awarded as well.

The Democracy Big Award was granted to the Turkish Parliament this year for its efforts to promote democracy. The Association has also given the encouragement award to the Committee of Auditing Turkish Deputies (TUMIKOM), the Prime Ministry Human Rights Presidency, the Eminonu Platform, and the Economists Platform, which were selected for their democracy and human rights studies.

The Turkish Democracy Association was founded on February 20, 1987 by a group of academics, businessmen, politicians and intellectuals. The Founding President was then Istanbul Deputy, Bulent Akarcali. Akarcali maintained the presidency assignment until May 31, 2003, when he deliberately resigned. After Akarcali, former Istanbul Deputy, Emre Kocaoglu, who is an executive board member as well, was elected. The Turkish Democracy Association organizes joint democracy meetings, seminars and workshops together with civilian society foundations both in Turkey and abroad.

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