Last year the 2016 Silver Rose Jury decided to honour the Journalist Union of Turkey/ Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikası (TGS), established in 1952 in Istanbul with the aim to protect and strengthen the rights and freedoms of journalists, to promote labour rights, social justice, democracy, professional and ethical standards, press freedom and international solidarity, in the light of all that is going on in Turkey. Uğur Güç, President of the Journalist Union of Turkey (TGS), was in the European Parliament in Brussels to accept the award on behalf of his organisation, which supports jailed journalists and promotes solidarity between journalists in Turkey and abroad. Their work is of paramount importance at a time when the debate on Press Freedom is high on the EU’s political agenda and journalists in Turkey and elsewhere face severe threats. Uğur Güç himself has suffered reprisals for his work, notably his fight for decent working conditions. After he got involved in the Journalist Union in 2007, they went on strike at Sabah, a big Turkish newspaper, having failed to reach a collective labour agreement. As a result, Uğur Güç was fired. In 2013 he became President of TGS. He now works at the weekly internet newspaper SOL – meaning “left” in Turkish.
2017 marks the year in which we’ll organise the Silver Rose Awards for the 15th time. SOLIDAR has been organising the Silver Rose Awards since 2000, recognising those individuals and organisations who have made a tremendous contribution to advancing social justice in Europe and worldwide. The Silver Rose Awards have always been organised in cooperation with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D Group) and the Party of European Socialists (PES) and give the - often still unknown - winners of the awards an opportunity to present their work, and perhaps most importantly the cause to which they are committed, to a wider audience. We are looking back on 15 ceremonies that brought together these admirable winners, like-minded friends, who all share our values and beliefs, and partners, who are all active in contributing to social justice.
The Silver Rose Awards are not only an occasion to be inspired by those who are brave enough to do something for those faced with injustice, they also create an opportunity through which cooperation and alliances can be built.
Who do you think should win this year’s awards?