Türkiye'nin en iyi köşe yazarları en güzel köşe yazıları ile Hürriyet'te! Usta yazarlar ve gündemi değerlendiren köşe yazılarını takip edin.

Germany applauds Aydın Doğan

While watching the award ceremony for Aydın Doğan on Monday evening in Berlin, I remembered and became sad about how the Doğan Group was verbally attacked by some ruling AKP members and foremost by their leader

For many years I watched Turkey from the European stage. I saw the treatment, disgracing now and then, sympathetic off and on, that Turkish ministers and prime ministers had to put up with. But you can be sure that I never witnessed anything like the award ceremony for Aydın Doğan on Monday evening in Berlin in front of the thousand people comprising the cream of society.

Everyone was there... It was an elite group of a thousand people.

High-level political party representatives who make up German politics... Editors-in-Chief of all media... top level managers of TV and most influential names of the business world.

Those gathered around Dr. Schauble sitting in a wheelchair explaining last minute developments... those still on top of the German automobile industry are calculating whether they can make it out of the crisis or not... people gossiping about whether Germany’s Prime Minister Merkel will join the celebration or not.

Amid this glamor there was Aydın Doğan; treated like a star by hundreds of photographers and cameramen shouting "Mr. Doğan ... Mr. Doğan look this way..." This night was in his honor. Everybody came for the Golden Victoria award ceremony.

It seemed like Aydın Doğan was receiving the award, when in reality this award was given to Turkey.

Germany’s Prime Minister Merkel joined when the ceremony was halfway through. I noticed that with her were her spokesperson, secretary and only one bodyguard. She entered quietly. No hand clapping, no noise, no group that would stand up and clap hands just because she entered the room. So it is possible to enter gatherings in a polite way.

In her speech she spoke very highly of Aydın Doğan. Do you know why?

Because he did what he could to ease the adaptation of Turkish workers to Germany. She said, "Aydın Doğan is a very important person for Germany." Minister of Interior Dr. Schauble went further and talked about the details of Aydın Doğan’s huge contributions to Turkish-German relations.

Monday night was really very important.

Some might be angered about the importance of Turkey in Germany, but the effectiveness of the Doğan group and especially of Hürriyet was stressed.

No offense. The applause elevated as it was explained what Ertuğrul Özkök and the Editor-in-Chief of Bild Kai Diekmann have done in this field. You might say that night these two editors-in-chief were carried on shoulders. For they had realized something nobody believed in. Instead of running after daily circulation and provoking society, they chose the hard way and suggested friendship in place of dispute.

Aydın Doğan was very happy.

Only his family and those close to them surrounded him. You could acquire as many companies as you want but you could not experience a night like Monday night, this glamor, this applause and receive this award.

Prime Minister Merkel stayed for one and a half hours for her speech and the reception thereafter. She spoke extensively to Aydın Doğan about developments in Turkey. Asked about the prime minister. Some will be much surprised, but he persistently did not say a word criticizing the administration.

While watching this ceremony, I remembered and became sad about how the Doğan Group was verbally attacked by some AKP members and foremost by their leader.

After the reception, as you might guess, Arzuhan Yalçındağ, Vuslat Sabancı and myself besieged Merkel and discussed the European Union until she perspired. Yalçındağ especially openly interrogated the German Prime Minister. Because Merkel asked us not to write most of what she said, I cannot unveil it. I can say this much though; she no longer has affection for the AKP like she used to. She gave the impression that she was glad about the growing distance between Erdoğan, and the Turkish government giving up insisting on the EU issue.

Aydın Doğan in his speech that night, while looking Merkel in the eyes, said, "Do not hinder Turkey on its way to the EU. We will not be a burden for you but will bring enrichment." And Merkel stated that she is not against a full membership but repeated that an immediate membership would shake Europe.

I don’t know how to put it. But I am not sure whether to write about Merkel - who just flew in from the States having joined the G-20 meetings - assumptions about the crisis or how she was influenced by discussions with Sarkozy and Bush.

If I were to summarize, Hürriyet, lead by Aydın Doğan and Ertuğrul Özkök, was the pride of Turkey on Monday night. Within all this glamor, under my seat I noticed the pious papers full of headlines attacking Aydın Doğan. I whispered to myself what a vulgar society we are. Then I turned to see the Sema - Aydın Doğan couple with a glow in their eyes.

One could see in their eyes: The joy of being appreciated. Our ambassador in Berlin probably best summarized the night: "Tonight you conquered Germany on behalf of Turkey, thank you."