Back to top

Erol Önderoglu

HRD, Correspondent
Reporters Without Borders
Award for Freedom of Speech and Expression

In 2018, Netherlands based Roosevelt Foundation awarded journalist Erol Önderoğlu with Laureate Freedom of Speech Award. “The award for Mr. Önderoğlu is motivated by his tireless and persistent dedication to defend the freedom of speech and expression. As correspondent for Reporters Without Borders in Turkey and as editor of independent press agency Bianet he has for over 20 years actively followed the court cases of fellow journalists, to support them and report objectively on violations of freedom of the press. In more than 4,600 articles and columns to date, he has monitored and reported on these violations even when he was faced with repression and imprisonment. In life and work he is devoted to raising awareness of the necessity of freedom of speech and expression, for men and women, from all kinds of backgrounds, in Turkey and abroad”

Political polarization is killing field reporting and investigative journalism, which should be performed without concessions, without consideration for the relations between the government and the opposition.

Erol Önderoglu is a correspondent of the human rights organisation Reporters Without Borders in Turkey and the Editor of Bianet, a Turkish website that covers political, social and cultural affairs with special attention to human rights and freedoms. Bianet publishes a quarterly press freedom report and a monthly review of women's rights in Turkey.

Human rights defenders in Turkey have been subjected to harassment, threats, surveillance, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, judicial harassment including criminal prosecution, violent attacks, prolonged arbitrary detention and ill-treatment. They become target for their work on denouncing impunity for serious human rights violations, defending sexual rights, investigating on ultra-nationalist networks, advocating for labour rights or defending the right to conscientious objection.