The 1995 Tolerance Awards designated by the Journalists' and Writers' Foundation were presented to recipients in a ceremony that took place at the Ciragan Palace last night. Guests from many different social segments attended, including members of Parliament and the arts. The person receiving the most attention during the evening was Fethullah Gülen.
Speakers included Riza Akcali (former Minister of the Environment), Melih Gokcek (Mayor of Ankara), Ertugrul Gunay (former CHP M.P.), Nail Gureli (President of the Journalists' Association), Hasan Cemal (journalist), Orhan Gencebay (singer), and sevket Demirel (businessman). All expressed their views on tolerance by quoting from Yunus Emre, Ahmet Yesevi, and Mevlana. Before presenting the awards, which included the media, science, thought and the arts, a slide show was made describing the award fields. The jury consisted of Agâh Oktay Guner, Ali Coskun, Hulya Kocyigit, Kamran Inan, Latif Erdogan, Mustafa calisan, Nilufer Gole, Togay Bayatli, and Zulfu Livaneli. After making their evaluations, the people to be honored were announced:
1. Columnist: Taha Akyol and Cengiz Candar
2. Media/TV: Toktamis Ates and Abdurrahman Dilipak.
3. Media/Journalism: Munire Acim
4. Arts: Baris Manco, Kutsi Erguner, and Fehmi Gerceker
5. Diplomacy: Isik Sadik Ahmet
6. Science: Mehmet Aydin
7. Nature and Environment: Hayrettin Karaca
8. Family: Perihan Savas
9. Help to the Handicapped: Mujdat Gezen and R. Tayyip Erdogan
10. Sports: Fatih Terim
While Baris Manco pointed to his long hair as an example of Turkey's atmosphere of tolerance, Mujdat Gezen apologized to the handicapped for misunderstandings regarding his following their lives closely. Toktamis Ates jokingly said that although he had not made his student Abdurrahman Dilipak into a Kemalist, he had not become an advocate of the Shari'a either. Cengiz candar emphasized that the responsibility the award brought with it was more important than the award itself. Ertugrul Gunay indicated that by declaring 1995 as a Year of Tolerance, UNESCO actually wanted to cover up their intolerance to Muslim countries.
At the end of the ceremony, a special award was presented to Fethullah Gülen, honorary president and member of the board of directors of the Journalists' and Writers' Foundation.