Can Dündar to open the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium

Potsdam, 19 July, 2017. “Democracy or Despotism? The Renaissance of Dark Powers” is the topic of this year’s M100 Sanssouci Colloquium. And Can Dündar, editor-in-chief of the Turkish-German news platform “Özgürüz” and former editor-in-chief of the Turkish newspaper “Cumhuriyet“, is particularly familiar with this year’s topic.

As a result of his reporting on secret Turkish arms deliveries to extremists in Syria, Dündar and his colleague Erdem Gül were sentenced to a lengthy prison term by a Turkish court of first instance. Hence, he lived in exile for more than one year. While Dündar could escape abroad, his wife’s passport was taken away and Dilek is not allowed to leave the country anymore. Beforehand, Dündar stated at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2016 that Turkey was the only modern, secular country with a Muslim majority. But in the meantime, it slowly developed to an Islamic dictatorship. “We are losing this country”, Dündar emphasized. Following the attempted coup in Turkey, Dündar announced that he would not return to Turkey as long as the state of emergency was still in place. A condition of “lawlessness” prevailed since the coup attempt, he said, and he no longer had any trust in the Turkish justice system.

The award-winning Dündar regularly writes columns for the weekly paper “DIE ZEIT”. In cooperation with the non-profit research network “Correctiv!”, he has launched the bilingual journalistic platform “Özgürüz” in January 2017. In Turkey the page is blocked.

Dündar takes part in the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium for the second time. This year more than 70 editors-in-chief, historians and representatives of political institutions from 21 countries will discuss political visions and concrete strategies in an international order under new auspices, the crumbling of the democratic order as well as the media in light of rapidly changing operating conditions in the Orangery of Sanssouci in Potsdam.

The participants include Sven Afhüppe (Editor-in-Chief, Handelsblatt, Düsseldorf), Jamie Angus (Editorial Director, BBC Global News, London), Erik Bjerager (Editor-in-Chief, Kristeligt Dagblad, Copenhagen), Prof. Jason Brennan (Professor for Strategy, Economy, Ethics, Public Policy, Georgetown University, Washington), Klaus Brinkbäumer (Editor-in-Chief, Der Spiegel, Hamburg), Judy Dempsey (Editor-in-Chief, Carnegie’s Strategic Europe, London), Dr. Tobias Endler (Heidelberg Center for American Studies, Heidelberg), Victor Erofeev (Writer, Moscow), Dr. Alexandra Föderl-Schmid (Editor-in-Chief, Der Standard, Vienna), Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė (Editor-in-Chief,, Vilnius), Sven Gösmann (Editor-in-Chief, dpa, Berlin), Ulrik Haagerup (Founder & CEO, Constructive Institute, Aarhus), Lauri Hussar (Editor-in-Chief, Postimees, Tallinn), Áine Kerr (Journalism Partnerships, Facebook), Tanit Koch (Editor-in-Chief, BILD, Berlin), Martin Kotthaus (Director General European Affairs, Federal Foreign Office, Berlin) Xenia Kounalaki (Head of Foreign Desk, Kathimerini daily, Athens), Mark Leonard (Director, ECFR, London), Peter Limbourg (Director, Deutsche Welle, Cologne/Berlin), Yannis Mastrogeorgiou (Director, DIKTIO, Athens), Sebastian Matthes (Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post Germany, Munich), Sonia Mikich (Editor-in-Chief, WDR, Cologne), Mathias Müller von Blumencron (Editor-in-Chief, Digitale Medien FAZ, Frankfurt/M.), Arkady Ostrovsky (Correspondent Russia and East Europe, The Economist, London), Dr. Christian Rainer (Editor-in-Chief, Profil, Vienna), Prof. Dr. Andreas Rödder (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz), Harun Simavi (Founder, Diken, Istanbul), Daniel Smilov (Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia), Maria Stepanova (Editor-in-Chief,, Moscow), Eduardo Suarez (Founder, Politibot, Madrid), Sergij Sydorenko (Editor-in-Chief, European Pravda, Kiev), Dr. Sylke Tempel (Editor-in-Chief, Policy Journal, Berlin), Maxim Trudolyubov (Editor-at-Large, Vedomosti, Moscow), Dr. George Tzogopoulos (Founder,, Athens), Dr. Uwe Vorkötter (Editor-in-Chief, Horizont Group, Frankfurt/Main), and Ursula Weidenfeld (Economical Journalist, Berlin).
Please find an overview of all participants here.

Following the debate, the celebratory presentation of the M100 Media Award takes place.
Previous laureates include Lord Norman Foster, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, Bob Geldof, Ingrid Betancourt, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Kurt Westergaard, Vitali Klitschko, the editorial staff of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo as well as the Italian writer Roberto Saviano.

This year’s laureate will be announced soon.