Musa Anter journalism awards handed out in ceremony in Istanbul
Prestigious Musa Anter Awards, named after Kurdish writer and journalist Musa Anter who was killed by a state death squad on 20 September 1992, were handed out on Friday at a ceremony held in Istanbul by Yeni Yasam newspaper.
The award in the Kurdish language news category was given to bianet's Ferid Demirel for his news report on the graduation of a US-sanctioned jihadist commander from a Turkish university.
Demirel's report had exposed that the man named Abu Hatem Shaqra received his degree from Artuklu University's department of political science and international relations and attended the graduation ceremony in June although he is held responsible for taking part in the execution of many detainees in northern Syria and for the trafficking of enslaved Yazidi women and children.
Shaqra, the commander of jihadist Ahrar al-Sharqiya group, was sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department in July 2021 over "crimes against civilians," including unlawful killings, abductions, torture, and seizures of private property. The group is known to have in its ranks former members of the Islamic State (ISIS).
Imprisoned Kurdish journalist Abdurrahman Gok was given the award in the Turkish language news category for his news story titled "I am in Rojhilat and Iran: A new hope for Iran," which chronicles the protests in Iran after the death of Mahsa "Jina" Amini in police custody.
Gok's award was received on his behalf by Diren Yurtsever, the Executive Editor of Mezopotamya News Agency.
This year's Musa Anter awards marks the 30th anniversary of the awards that were first organized in 1993 by Ozgur Gundem newspaper. The awards have since been organized by different newspapers and publications over the years as many were short lived because of intense pressures, prosecution and violence targeting Kurdish media.
The awards were given by Ozgür Ulke in 1994, Yeni Politika in 1995, Demokrasi in 1995, Ulkede Gundem in 1997 and 1998, Ozgur Bakis in 1999, 2000'de Yeni Gundem in 2000, Yedinci Gundem in 2001 and 2002, Yeniden Ozgur Gundem in 2003, Ulkede Ozgur Gundem in 2004, 2005 and 2006, Gundem in 2007, Alternatif and Azadiya Welat in 2008, Ozgur Gundem and Azadiya Welat from 2010 to 2013, Ozgur Gundem and Azadiya Welat in 2014, the Association of Free Journalists in 2015 and 2016, Ozgurlukcu Demokrasi in 2017, Yeni Yasam from 2018 to present.