Yavuz Ekinci, a Kurdish writer, was awarded the Prize for Freedom of Thought and Expression by the Turkish Publishers Association on February 21, 2024. Publishers, writers and journalists came to honor him.

Freedom of Thought and Expression Award
Since 1995, the TPA has worked to promote the freedom to publish both in Turkey and worldwide. It is to this end that the TPA presents the annual “Freedom of Thought and Expression Awards”. By means of this award, the TPA seeks to show its support of writers and publishers in Turkey who are publicly known to be engaged in the struggle for these freedoms; to attract the attention of public opinion regarding this struggle; and to insist upon the legislative and political changes necessary to further freedom of thought and expression.

Yavuz Ekinci is a Kurdish writer from Turkey. The Supreme Criminal Court in Istanbul sentenced him to a sentenced to a probation for his books and opinions: “As a writer, I am the soul, the memory and the conscience of our time.”

Kumaman Kanapathipillai “Having grown up during the years of civil war marked by atrocities and endless suffering, for at least 10 years photojournalist Kumanan Kanapathippillai (30) has been reporting about the suffering and the violation of human rights of the Tamils.”
Press release Kumaman Kanapathipillai

Stanislav Aseyev Aseyev fights with pen and gun against the Russian war criminals. On his platform “Justice Initiative Fund”(www.jif.fund/en) they get a public face. Stanislav Aseyev has been reporting undercover for a long time from the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, when he was abducted to the “Isolaziya” torture prison by pro-Russian separatists on May 11, 2017.
Press release Stanislav Aseyev

Alexander Goncharenko The Russian human rights activist worked for a long time as medical practitioner. In April 2022, the district court in Barnaul convicted him of “public acts discrediting the deployment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The proceedings were triggered by the blog entry “I cannot and will not be silent“
Press release Alexander Goncharenko

Rana The scriptwriter and filmmaker Rana (pseudonym) produces each of her films under high stress and says she always has to expend a lot of energy to avoid thinking about the consequences threatened in her country. In Germany, she would like to think about a new screenplay.
Press release Rana (Pseudonym)

Nazanin As a contemporary composer and musician, Nazanin (pseudonym) also faces major problems in her country. Although she is considered a great talent in her field, public performances in her home country remain forbidden to her. She wants to get to know the work of her European colleagues, make new contacts and be able to work “without scissors in her head” for once.
Press release Nazanin (Pseudonym)

Current guests 2020-2022

Heval Bozbay. The Kurdish archaeologist Heval Bozbay successfully searched fo testimonies of the past civilization on the territory of today’s Turkey. Because of his public criticism of the Turkish Minister of Culture, Bozbay has been banned from all archaeological excavations since 2013.
Link to Press release

Masrat Zahra is a photojournalist comes from the disputed region of Kashmir which is claimed by both India and Pakistan. Since 1989, an armed insurgency led local Kashmiris and supported by Pakistan has been raging in the scenic region against the Indian rule. She has already been honoured with important international awards for ex. in 2020 the ” Peter Mackler Award” and the “Anja Niendringhaus Award” for courageous photojournalism.
Link to Press release

Tatsiana Tkachova. The award-winning photographer quit her permanent job at a state-owned daily newspaper, her contribution not being part of the system.

The podcast of the Hamburg Foundation.
Johannes von Dohnanyi introduces – but not only – current and former guests of the foundation.


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37 years Hamburg Foundation for Politically Persecuted People

The Hamburg Foundation supports politically

persecuted people who, be­cause of advocating

democracy, freedom and human rights,

find them­selves in a dangerous, often life-threatening

situation in their native countries.