Söylemez, who fights a life-threatening condition, is currently being treated at the intensive-care unit of Ankara Education and Research Hospital.
MAZLUM-DER held a Human Rights Night as part of its traditional Palestine Days organization. The event, which was held at Ankara’s Kocatepe Culture Center, was attended by many MAZLUM-DER volunteers across Turkey, representatives from political parties, non-governmental organizations and labor unions.
The program began with a multimedia presentation of the assessment of human rights worldwide. The opening speech of the event was delivered by MAZLUM-DER Chairman Ahmet Faruk Ünsal, concerts were given by Ömer Karaoğlu, a singer, composer and musician and Reşo and poems were recited by poets Sıtkı Caney and Abdurrahim Semavi.
At the ceremony, awards were distributed to several figures for their efforts to promote human rights. Söylemez was given the award for human rights.
Another award was given to novelist Şule Yüksel Şenler who is famous for her novel “Huzur Sokağı” (The Street of Peace). Another MAZLUM-DER award was given to Sedat Özevin, a former chairman of the Batman Bar Association who was killed in a terrorist attack in August.
Journalist Ersin Kalkan who revealed the Armenian roots of Sabiha Gökçen, Turkey’s first female pilot, who took part in the bombing of Dersim in 1937, was given the press award. Kalkan was fired by the Hürriyet daily for criticizing Hürriyet’s approach to the murder of Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist, in 2007.