The board consisted of five members from the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and one member from each of the following opposition parties: the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, and Democratic Society Party, or DTP.
Karpat was nominated for the award by AKP Adana deputy Necdet Ünüvar. Other nominations included Professor Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, general secretary of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, nominated by the Governorship of Istanbul; Nobel Prize winning novelist Orhan Pamuk, nominated by Istanbul independent deputy Ufuk Uras and Haluk Özdalga. The final list was shortened to six names. Although the board did not hold a vote, Karpat was chosen by the will of the majority of the members. Canan Arıtman, CHP deputy from İzmir had nominated humanitarian Türkan Saylan, who died this year, but the board rejected her name because she is no longer among the living.