PEN Turkey Writers' Association has given its annual Duygu Asena Women's Rights Award to Ayşe Buğra, a professor of political economy at Istanbul's Boğaziçi University, which has been at the center of protests for over a month now after President Recep Erdoğan appointed an academic with ties to the ruling party as rector.
The association said that it awarded Buğra in the face of her reactions after being targeted by Erdoğan over the protests.
“In the face of these attacks and rudeness, Ayşe Buğra has maintained her usual prudent and humble stance, and given a lesson of humanity, conscience and good manners by showing her reaction through the remarks of 'I feel sorry for my country,'” online Diken news outlet quoted the association as saying.
Earlier in February, Erdoğan insulted both Buğra and her husband jailed philantrophist Osman Kavala when he was commenting on the ongoing Boğaziçi University protests.
"The wife of Osman Kavala is a woman who is among the provocateurs at Boğaziçi University," Erdoğan said on Feb. 5.
In the face of Erdoğan's comments, Buğra said that she regrets Erdoğan's statement and feels sorry on behalf of the country.
“As PEN Writers' Association, we share her sadness but feel an infinite happiness for being a woman of the Republic like her, who carry the honor of being a woman and a scientist, on behalf of all women for the freedom of women, and who know that this will liberate the country and thinking,” the association said.
The group had granted the award to We Will Stop Femicides Platform ("Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu" in Turkish) in 2020.