‘Images can change world’: Veteran photojournalist Yuri Kozyrev


'What’s happening in Palestine is genocide, power of photography still exists,’ Yuri Kozyrev tells Anadolu


Yuri Kozyrev, a jury member of the Istanbul Photo Awards and a veteran photojournalist, expressed his belief that the horrific images coming from Palestine can mobilize people and potentially change the world. 

"I think we can absolutely call what’s happening in Palestine 'genocide,' without a doubt, and the power of photography still exists," Kozyrev told Anadolu after attending "Istanbul Photo Awards Talks" where experienced photographers shared their experiences.

"I remember Eddie Adams' photo showing the execution of Vietnamese people in 1968. Yes, that photo somehow caught the attention of students, and then people went out to protest the war in Vietnam," Kozyrev recalled.

"We have students protesting the war in Palestine. I believe they have seen the horrific images coming from Palestine. This drives them to go out and do something,” he stressed.

“Therefore, I believe these powerful images can change the world," Kozyrev said.

Kozyrev also hailed Mohammed Salem, who won the "Photo of the Year" award with his image titled “A Palestinian Woman Embraces the Body of Her Niece.”

"I think Mohammed captured an iconic image. It says a lot. And at the same time, it’s not crude, raw, or straightforward. It conveys so much in a very delicate way. You understand what’s happening there," he noted.

"Most of the photographers applying from Palestine are locals. They are trapped there. So they are not outsiders. They are trying to do their jobs despite all this tragedy," Kozyrev explained.

Kozyrev underlined that journalists who have no choice but to stay in Gaza are showing the world what is happening on the ground.

"They need to take care of their families. The conditions they work under are absolutely incredible. When most of us go to conflict zones, we have a return ticket; they don’t," according to Kozyrev.


- Istanbul Photo Awards

The first exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Istanbul Photo Awards, organized by Turkish international news agency Anadolu, opened Monday.

Istanbul Governor Davut Gul, jury members of the competition, winning photographers, members of the international press and many others from the world of photography attended the opening of the exhibition and award ceremony featuring this year's award-winning photographs.

The competition, which evaluates single and series photographs in the categories of news, sports, environment, portrait and daily life, received over 20,000 submissions this year. A total of 32 photographers were awarded in 10 categories.

This year, the competition was sponsored by Turkcell as the communication sponsor, Sony as the award sponsor, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency as the overseas events sponsor, and Turkish Airlines as the airline sponsor.

Supported by the Rami Library, the exhibition features photos covering global events from last year, including Israel's ongoing attacks in Palestine and the earthquakes in Türkiye, described as the "Disaster of the Century," as well as on subjects including Mexican crime organizations, refugee camps in Afghanistan, plastic usage in Nigeria, the lives of elephants in Sri Lanka's landfills, the world swimming championships in Japan, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, discrimination in India, and migrants who died in Spanish waters.

Information about the award-winning photos can be found on istanbulphotoawards.com and the exhibition will be open until June 23 at the Rami Library's F3 hall.


Veteran photojournalist Yuri Kozyrev attends İstanbul Photo Awards Talks



Yuri Kozyrev, a jury member of the İstanbul Photo Awards and and veteran photojournalist, on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 held a special talk. The İstanbul Photo Awards Talks were hosted at the Rami Library on the contest's 10th anniversary.

The talk was moderated by Anadolu photojournalist Arif Hudaverdi Yaman.

In a career spanning several decades, Kozyrev documented major conflicts.

Kozyrev said that when the opportunity came to visit Iraq in 2002, he knew very little about the region.

"I managed to be in Iraq before the war and made connections without knowing that the war would start,” Kozyrev said.

“I lived there. Even though I was not on assignment, I stayed in Iraq for three months because I thought spending more time there was interesting,” he recalled.

“Then I began to prepare for the big story and knew that it would be my story," said Kozyrev.

The first exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the İstanbul Photo Awards, organized by Turkish international news agency Anadolu, opened Monday.

İstanbul Governor Davut Gul, jury members of the contest, winning photographers, members of the international press and many others from the world of photography attended the opening of the exhibition and award ceremony featuring this year's award-winning photographs.

The contest, which evaluates single and series photographs in the categories of news, sports, environment, portrait and daily life, received over 20,000 submissions this year. A total of 32 photographers were awarded in 10 categories.

This year, the contest was sponsored by Turkcell as the communication sponsor, Sony as the award sponsor, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) as the overseas events sponsor, and Turkish Airlines (THY) as the airline sponsor.

Supported by the Rami Library, the exhibition features photos covering global events from last year including Israel's ongoing attacks in Palestine and the earthquakes in Türkiye, described as the "Disaster of the Century," as well as on subjects including Mexican crime organizations, refugee camps in Afghanistan, plastic usage in Nigeria, the lives of elephants in Sri Lanka's landfills, the world swimming championships in Japan, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, discrimination in India, and migrants who died in Spanish waters.

Information about the award-winning photos can be found on istanbulphotoawards.com and the exhibition will be open until June 23 at the Rami Library's F3 hall.

İstanbul exhibition opens at Rami Library for 10th anniversary

'Since its inception, the İstanbul Photo Awards have become a global platform with approximately 185,000 photos and 18,000 photographers registered over 10 years,'



The first exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the İstanbul Photo Awards, organized by Turkish international news agency Anadolu, opened on Monday, June 10, 2024 at the Rami Library for art enthusiasts.


İstanbul Governor Davut Gul, jury members of the competition, winning photographers, members of the international press and many others from the photography world attended the opening of the exhibition and award ceremony featuring this year's award-winning photographs.


Watch the promo video:  https://www.aa.com.tr/en/vg/video-gallery/istanbul-photo-awards-10th-anniversary-exhibition-opens-its-doors-to-visitors-at-rami-library-in-istanbul/0 


Anadolu’s President and CEO Serdar Karagoz stressed in his opening speech that each photograph is a document and contributes to creating a collective memory.

Karagoz also noted the significant changes in photography from the camera obscura to today's digital photography.

"Since the first permanent photograph was taken, many things have changed in the world of photography, from color photography techniques to today's AI-enhanced image processing technologies. However, the documentary nature of each photograph, serving as a witness to its time and building a memory, has never changed," he said.


'We continue to showcase the true face of war'

Karagoz expressed a desire to share the award-winning photographs from the 2024 İstanbul Photo Awards with the participants of the exhibition.

"The 'Photo of the Year' award this year went to Mohammed Salem for his emotional and impactful piece 'Palestinian Woman Embracing Her Dead Niece's Body.' This photo tells a deeply affecting story, the story of Gaza, a story that will not be erased from our collective memory.

"Unfortunately, we continue to witness many such moments today. Since October, the Israeli administration has been carrying out intense attacks on Gaza," he said.

Karagoz noted that more than 140 journalists have lost their lives in Israeli attacks on Gaza since Oct. 7, including Anadolu cameraman Montaser Al-Sawaf.

He also compared this number to the 69 journalists who died during the six years of World War II.

"These numbers summarize the current situation most clearly. As Anadolu, we continue our work to reveal the true face of this war and witness the painful pages of human history. In this context, we published our books 'Evidence' and 'Witness' containing visuals that clearly reveal Israel's crimes in Gaza.

"We also premiered our documentary series 'Evidence' in Ankara and later launched it in London at the UK Parliament. We aim to showcase our 'Witness' and 'Evidence' documentaries at many film and documentary festivals worldwide in the upcoming period."


'We will not remain silent while massacres continue'

Karagoz also said the exhibition includes a 'Palestine Room' dedicated to the memory of journalists killed in Israeli attacks.

He criticized Western governments for their silence on Gaza and their lack of response to Israel’s war.

"These authorities, who are uncomfortable with the topic of Palestine being brought up, apply the harshest measures against peaceful demonstrations and continue to exert pressure and violence on journalists covering these events. Last week, our reporter Fatih Aktas was subjected to harsh intervention by New York police. I wish him a speedy recovery.

"Despite all this pressure and violence, conscientious people around the world continue to show resistance against this injustice. People are shouting for a free Palestine in streets, squares and university campuses. This is not a political issue; it's a matter of humanity. We will not remain silent while massacres continue. This courageous, conscientious and determined stance will build the future," he said.

Karagoz emphasized that killing innocent children only results in greater defeat.

"Killing children only inspires millions more with their innocent spirits. Our archives carry the stories of innocent Palestinian children to every corner of the world."

Karagoz expressed his belief that the world will unite against the oppression and evil in Palestine.

"Justice will prevail sooner or later. The evidence provided by Anadolu will be spoken about one by one. Those who kill children will be defeated and disgraced. The good are the children, and the evil are those who mercilessly kill them. We firmly believe that goodness will triumph over evil in the end."


'185,000 photos, 18,000 photographers in 10 years'

Karagoz shared that the İstanbul Photo Awards has become a global platform with approximately 185,000 photos and 18,000 photographers registered over 10 years. He highlighted the global recognition of the competition.

"This year’s competition saw the participation of over 20,000 photos from around the world. From Brazil to Nepal, Canada to Nigeria, Palestine to Japan, some of the world's most talented photographers participated.

"This global representation makes us very happy. Our international jury carefully evaluated each photo, and moments captured by 32 photographers in 10 different categories were deemed worthy of awards. I congratulate all the winners and thank all participants for their efforts and contributions."


'The world's best photographers created a reaction with Gaza images'

Answering questions from the press after his speech, Karagoz highlighted the prestige of the İstanbul Photo Awards.

"Today, we have gathered the work and photos of some of the world's most respected photojournalists here."

Karagoz said the exhibition will also be displayed in New York and Brussels after İstanbul.

He noted that 2023 was a year of sorrows, particularly with the earthquakes in Türkiye, which did not escape the attention of photographers.

However, Karagoz emphasized that the main theme of this year's exhibition consists of Gaza photographs.

"A photo is a document, a record. We document and record here. The word 'objective' in Turkish means untouched, faithful to its essence, unmanipulated. This is why our photographers captured what was happening in Gaza through their lenses, and some of the world's best photographers responded with Gaza images."

"This year, we included a 'discrimination' category. This selection features visuals of people subjected to discrimination worldwide. The ‘environment’ category is very important. We have a selection related to plastic waste, which pollutes the environment. We also present strong photos in the ‘sports’ category, always central to news photography, for İstanbul photo enthusiasts."

Karagoz concluded by emphasizing Anadolu's significant contribution to the world of photography through the İstanbul Photo Awards.


Salem, winner of the ‘Photo of the Year,’ sent a message from Gaza

During the ceremony, a video message from Mohammed Salem, winner of the "Photo of the Year" award in the Single News category, was shown.

His brother, Reuters Gaza Visual Editor Suhaib Salem, accepted the award on his behalf.

Awards were also presented to Jeff Pachoud from Agence France-Presse for first place in the Series Sports category, Anna Surinyach for first place in the Series Portrait category, Luca Bettini from Sprint Cycling Agency for first place in the Single Sports category, Adem Altan from Agence France-Presse for third place in the Single News category, Mahmud Hams from Agence France-Presse for first place in the Series News category, Francisco Seco from the Associated Press for second place in the Single Daily Life category, and Marylise Vigneau for third place in the Series Daily Life category.

Thank-you plaques were presented to İstanbul Photo Awards jury members and representatives of supporting institutions, and a group photo was taken with the participants.


About the İstanbul Photo Awards

The competition, which evaluates single and series photographs in the categories of news, sports, environment, portrait and daily life, received over 20,000 photo submissions this year. A total of 32 photographers were awarded in 10 categories.

This year, the competition was sponsored by Turkcell as the communication sponsor, Sony as the award sponsor, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) as the overseas events sponsor, and Turkish Airlines (THY) as the airline sponsor.

Supported by the Rami Library, the exhibition features photos covering global events from last year including Israel's ongoing attacks in Palestine and the earthquakes in Türkiye, described as the "Disaster of the Century," as well as on subjects including Mexican crime organizations, refugee camps in Afghanistan, plastic usage in Nigeria, the lives of elephants in Sri Lanka's landfills, the world swimming championships in Japan, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, discrimination in India, and migrants who died in Spanish waters.

Additionally, jury member and veteran photojournalist Yuri Kozyrev will hold a special talk with photographers at the exhibition area on Tuesday.

Information about the award-winning photos can be found on "istanbulphotoawards.com" and the exhibition will be open until June 23 at the Rami Library's F3 hall.


İstanbul Photo Awards 10th Year Winners


Winners of 10th İstanbul Photo Awards announced

32 photographers received awards in 10 categories






Winners of the international news photography contest the 10th İstanbul Photo Awards have been announced. 

 

Organized by Anadolu for the tenth time this year, 32 photographers received awards in 10 categories.

 

More than 20,000 photographs were submitted to the contest, and Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem's work titled "Palestinian Woman Embraces the Body of Her Niece" was deemed worthy of the "Photo of the Year" award in the competition.

 

The photo depicts a 36-year-old Palestinian Inas Abu Maamar embraces the body of her 5-year-old niece Saly, who was killed in an Israeli attack at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in the Southern Gaza Strip.

 

The winners of the İstanbul Photo Awards, which has become a global platform with 18,000 photographers registered since its first year, were determined by an international jury consisting of prestigious names from the photography world.

 

This year's jury brings together prestigious figures from the world of photography, including National Geographic photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale, photojournalist Carol Guzy, NOOR Agency photojournalist Yuri Kozyrev, The Globe and Mail photojournalist Goran Tomasevic, visual storyteller Marion Mertens, visual media consultant Michel Scotto, Getty Images chief sports photojournalist Cameron Spencer, photojournalist Ahmet Sel, and Firat Yurdakul, Visual News Director of Anadolu.

 

The jury, gathered online, said that they were very impressed by the photos sent in the eliminations made through the platform specially prepared by the Anadolu’s Information Technologies team, and that they had difficulty in deciding when choosing the best photos.

 

In the "Story News" category, Agence France Press (AFP) photographer Mahmud Hams was awarded first place with his series about the Israeli administration's attacks on the Gaza Strip, which started on October 7.

 

Photographer Luca Bettini won first place in the "Single Sport" category with his work documenting Swiss cyclist Stefan Kung's accident at the 2023 UEC Road European Championship and continuing the race with a bloody face and a broken helmet.

 

Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer Jeff Pachoud won first place in the "Story Sports" category with his photographs of the women's France cycling race.

 

Minqiang Lu, who photographed elephants looking for food in the garbage mountain in Sri Lanka, was awarded the first prize in the "Single Nature and Environment" category.

 

The jury also selected Garry Lotulung's work, which brings the nature conservation area affected by nickel mining to the agenda, as the winner of the "Story Nature and Environment" category.

 

The winner of "Single Portrait" was Emeke Obanor, who drew attention to the harms of using plastic bags.

 

Anna Surinyach won the first prize in the "Story Portrait" category with her work titled "Sea of Mourning".

 

In the "Single Daily Life" category, Associated Press (AP) photographer Ebrahim Noroozi received the first prize with his photo of Afghan children in a refugee camp.

 

Politiken photographer Mads Nissen won first place in the "Story Daily Life" category with his work on Mexican criminal organizations.

 

This year’s communication sponsor is Turkcell, which is supported by Sony as the award sponsor, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) as the international event sponsor and Turkish Airlines, the nation’s flag carrier, as the partial transportation sponsor.

 

In addition to the 30 awards given in 10 categories, the jury awarded Rajendra Mohan, for his discrimination-themed work on Indian widows, specifically for the 10th anniversary of the competition. 

 

Agence France-Press (AFP) photographer Sameer Al-Doumy, who documented the earthquake in Türkiye, was awarded in the Young Photographer award. 

 

In the contest, where a total of $60,000 was awarded, the first prize winners in all categories will also be presented with the SONY Alpha A7 III camera.

 

Information on all jury members of the contest and winning photos from previous years is available at istanbulphotoawards.com