Anadolu Agency publishes Istanbul Photo Awards album

Album cover features winner of contest's top prize taken by Palestinian AFP photojournalist Ahmad Gharabli


Anadolu Agency has published the award-winning news photographs of the global contest Istanbul Photo Awards 2019 in an album.

The album covers the photographs selected as winners in four categories of the contest which is supported by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, and officially sponsored by the national flag carrier Turkish Airlines.

The cover of the album featured the winner of the Photo of the Year award -- “Israel-US-Palestinian Conflict” -- which was shot by 40-year-old Palestinian AFP photojournalist Ahmad Gharabli.

The photo depicts a Palestinian woman retaliating an Israeli soldier’s act to take her photo during protests against the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

The 2019 album of the contest, which has seen around 100,000 entries since first held in 2015, symbolizes the prominent events of the world agenda in 2018, from the photographers’ perspective.

Deborah Copaken -- an American photojournalist, author and jury chairwoman of the Istanbul Photo Awards 2019 -- wrote for the presentation of the album that all of the winning photos have stories that could only be told in thousands of words.

Russian jury member Yuri Kozyrev, a photojournalist with Dutch-based NOOR Agency and a jury member, said on this year’s top prize-winning photo: “It is a powerful example of how narrative war has become more important than physical war due to the new technology.”

The album will be distributed to leading press photograph representatives, news photo agencies and university libraries.

It will also be reached at the official webpage of the contest, www.istanbulphotoawards.com.

The award winning photos of this year will also be displayed on both domestic and foreign exhibitions, just like past years.

All the winning photos are available on www.istanbulphotoawards.com, and professional photographers can apply for next year's contest on the same website from Nov. 1, 2019 to Jan. 31, 2020.


Istanbul Photo Awards winners: Stories behind pictures

Winners of international news photo contest share stories behind award-winning images with Anadolu Agency




The victors in this year’s Istanbul Photo Awards shared the stories behind their award-winning pictures with Anadolu Agency.

A jury of international experts last month picked the winners of the awards, organized by Anadolu Agency.

Sponsored by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines, the contest, mainly focusing on news and sports photos, had four categories: Single News, Story News, Single Sports, and Story Sports.

Photos from news, sports, nature, and the environment and daily life as well as portraits have competed in the contest since it started five years ago.

The winner of the Photo of the Year gets $8,000, while winners in other categories are awarded $5,000 for first prize, $3,000 for second prize, and $1,500 for third.

The winning photos are collected in an annual book and are shown at exhibits in Turkey and abroad throughout the year.


Chris McGrath

Forty-year-old Getty Images photographer Chris McGrath, who won for his series "A Journalist's Murder" taken in the wake of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, told Anadolu Agency that he spent more than a month each day outside the consulate building, waiting for updates or new information about the case.

Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post, was killed last October. After producing various contradictory explanations, Riyadh acknowledged he was killed inside the consulate building, blaming the act on a botched rendition operation.

"It was a difficult story to photograph as it was such a complex multi-layered story but also it wasn’t a very visual story, so the challenge for me every day was how to try and take a different picture that told the whole story and reflected the mood of the story," McGrath said.

Thanking the jury for "seeing the power of these pictures," McGrath said: "Through these images, the story of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and the issue of press freedom will continue to be highlighted for years to come and increase awareness of the power of quality and truthful journalism."

McGrath also said that Istanbul Photo Awards plays an important role every year for recognizing "some of the world’s most iconic and historic images" related to the year’s most important news stories.

"With pressure on journalism and journalists around the world ever increasing, I think it's more and more important that we continue to do truthful, independent and quality news photography," he said.

McGrath won second prize in the Story News category.


Forough Alaei

In the Story Sports category, the top prize went to Iranian freelancer Forough Alaei, 30, for her photos telling the story of a 22-year-old Zeinab, who disguised herself as a man to enter football stadiums.

With the photo series, Alaei cast her lens on Iran’s 40-year ban on women entering stadiums.

Saying that women "have never stopped fighting," Alaei added that during the project she grew familiar with some "brave" fans who disguise themselves as men to not only enter the stadium, but also to give a voice to their rights.

Alaei said she was impressed by Zeinab's beliefs and passion for football and women's rights, and decided to enter the stadium with her to complete the project.

"In the first place, I hadn’t even thought of taking such risk, but after I saw their efforts I felt that I had to promote their voice," Alaei said, adding that they constantly ran the risk of arrest.

She also said that after noticing that they were women, men in the stadium showed their "huge" support.

"On that day, I completely felt that I was just like Zeinab. As if she is myself when I tried to photograph her," Alaei added.

Stressing the cultural similarities and "sympathy" between Turkey and Iran, she praised the Istanbul Photo Awards’ sports category.

"Thus, I consider the Istanbul Photo Award a prestigious one to present my story."


Ahmad Gharabli

In the Single News category, 40-year-old Palestinian AFP photojournalist Ahmad Gharabli’s striking photo of a Palestinian woman and Israeli security officer taking photos of each other on a Jerusalem street got top prize -- Photo of the Year.

The photo was taken during a Friday protest of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Gharabli said.

In December 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump sparked international outrage when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and vowed to relocate Washington's embassy to the city. In May of last year, the U.S. officially relocated its embassy to the holy city.

"I believed that this photo illustrates how the media is used not only in journalism nowadays but also on a personal and governmental basis as a tool in cases, court, evidence, and manipulation," Gharabli said.

Gharabli also said that being recorded by Israeli police during a demonstration can lead to conviction and even imprisonment in some cases, even if protesters do nothing wrong.

"So many people avoid being recorded or having their presence documented."

Calling the Istanbul Photo Awards a major international photo contest, Gharabli said: "Winning such an important award gives us a lot of hope and motivation to work harder as it symbolizes international appreciation for our presence at the right place, at the right time."

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.


Guillermo Arias

In the Story News category, a series by Mexican photojournalist Guillermo Arias, 44, a regular contributor to Agence France-Presse (AFP), got top prize.

The series depicts the perilous journey of thousands of Central American migrants to the U.S.

"It wasn’t the first caravan, but certainly it was the biggest and most visible, thanks in part to U.S. President Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric," Arias said.

Saying he was very honored to be recognized by the Istanbul Photo Awards, Arias called the prize a "very straightforward photojournalism focus award," adding that the contest has fewer categories but focuses on news photography.

"Anadolu [Agency] is a well-known, respected agency, and the Istanbul Photo Awards is one of the hottest contests worldwide," he said.


Matzke Stefan

In the Single Sports Category, German photojournalist Matzke Stefan, 56, got first prize for his photo showing big wave German surfer Sebastian Steudtner being wiped out on the famous Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal.

Stefan said that every December for the last four years he and his partner Christina Pahnke stay in "epic" Nazare to watch and take pictures of big wave surfers.

The award-winning image was taken on his last morning before leaving for Munich, he said, adding that it was "our last chance to get some nice pictures this season".

"And suddenly Sebastian had a headfirst spectacular wipeout," Stefan said.

Saying that it was his first time submitting images to the contest, Stefan said was proud to win, adding that he heard about the Istanbul Photo Awards from other photographers.

"I think this kind of award is very important for journalism, because in this time a lot of good pictures don’t find the way into newspapers."

Summury of the first 5 years of Istanbul Photo Awards



Photos from news, sports, nature and environment and daily life as well as portraits have been entered in the competition since its inception five years ago. Aside from being showcased in exhibitions both in Turkey and abroad, albums of the award-winning images selected each year in March-April by an international jury are distributed to important organizations and institutions.

The photo albums are distributed annually to the world's leading press photograph representatives, media organizations, photojournalists, non-governmental organizations, local authorities and foreign missions as well as museums, universities and libraries.


Among the members of the 2019  jury that chose the winning entries were Marion Mertens (France), digital editor-in-chief of Paris Match, Yuri Kozyrev (Russia), a photojournalist from Dutch-based NOOR Agency, Georges De Keerle (Belgium), a photojournalist and visual media consultant, Michel Scotto (France), AFP’s head of photo business development, Deborah Copaken (USA), author, photojournalist, Ahmet Sel, visual news editor-in-chief for Anadolu Agency, and Firat Yurdakul, photography editor for Anadolu Agency.


This year’s Photo of the Year award went to AFP photojournalist Ahmad Gharabli’s photo from Palestine, preceded by an image captured by Damir Sagolj for Reuters in Bangladesh the previous year, Frederic Lafargue's photo from Syria in 2017 for Paris Match, Abd Doumany from AFP in 2016 with his image of an injured Syrian boy in 2016, and Daniel Berehulak's winning 2015 photo depicting a scene from Liberia’s Ebola outbreak.


The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines sponsored this year’s international news photo contest. The award-winning photos were shown in major international art centers such as Shanghai, Vienna, Moscow, New York, as well as exhibitions in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. More than 10,000 people in five years have visited the shows. The competition aims to encourage the efforts of photojournalists, whose work is often the most difficult among press workers. All winning photos are available on www.istanbulphotoawards.com, and professional photographers can apply for next year's contest on the same website from Nov. 1, 2019 to Jan. 31, 2020.

Istanbul Photo Awards 2019 winners announced

Palestinian photojournalist Ahmad Gharabli wins top honors at Istanbul Photo Awards



AFP photojournalist Ahmad Gharabli’s striking photo of a Palestinian woman and Israeli security officer taking photos of each other was chosen Photo of the Year 2019 in the Istanbul Photo Awards, organized by Anadolu Agency.

In the Single News category, 40-year-old Palestinian Gharabli’s image shot on a Jerusalem street got top prize in the contest, held in Istanbul, Turkey’s art and culture capital.

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines sponsored the international news photo contest, where a jury of international experts picked the winners in all categories on April 19-23.

Mainly focusing on news and sports photos, the contest has four categories: Single News, Story News, Single Sports, and Story Sports.

Deborah Copaken, an American author/photojournalist joined the jury for the first time this year as chairwoman.

The addition of these phones make it kind of a universal statement about where we are in news gathering today,” Copaken said

“It is also a very good picture and it is a picture that has not been seen too much," said Marion Mertens, digital editor-in-chief of Paris Match, another jury member.

On this year’s top prize-winning photo, Russian jury member Yuri Kozyrev from Russia, a photojournalist with Dutch-based NOOR Agency, who is also one of the jury members, said: “It is a powerful example of how narrative war has become more important than physical war due to the new technology.”


‘Fascinating view’

Second prize in the Single News Category went to Spanish-based Daniel Ochoa de Olza, 41, a documentary photographer for the Associated Press.

Olza’s photo shows a group of migrants jumping the U.S.-Mexico border at night.

“It’s a really fascinating view of what happens to the migrants when they come across the border,” Copaken said.

Elyxandro Cegarra, a freelancer, 41, got third prize in the same category, with his photo shot during the Yellow Vest protests against rising fuel taxes in Paris.

“The image we chose was of a woman on her knees, kind of crying out, she wasn’t even wearing a Yellow Vest. And in that image, you understand the impetus of this entire movement,” Copaken said.

Praising the second and third photos chosen by the jury, Mertens said: “Story is strong. Image and composition are strong. I think we had some high-quality photojournalism. We’re happy about it.”

In the Story News category, a series by Mexican photojournalist Guillermo Arias, 44, a regular contributor to Agence France Presse (AFP), got the top prize.

The series shows the perilous journey of thousands of Central American migrants to the U.S.

Forty-year-old Getty Images photographer Chris McGrath’s series taken in the wake of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul got second prize in the same category.

Third prize winner in the Story News category went to Indonesian-based freelancer Ulet Ifansasti for his photos showing the aftermath of the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami.


Sports category

In the Single Sports Category, German photojournalist Matzke Stefan, 56, got first prize for his photo showing big wave surfer Sebastian Steudtner of Germany experiencing a wipeout on the famous Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal.

U.S.-based freelancer Terrell Groggins, 37, got second prize in the same category and Reuters photographer Lenoir Francois, 46, from Belgium, got third.

In the Story Sports category, the top prize went to Iranian freelancer Forough Alaei, 30, with her photos telling the story of a 22-year-old girl who disguised herself as a man to enter football stadiums.

Getty Images photojournalist Ezra Shaw, 45, got second prize in the same category and Belgian freelancer Alain Schroeder, 64, got third.

The winner of the Photo of the Year will be awarded $8,000, while winners in other categories will be given $5,000 for first prize, $3,000 for second prize, and $1,500 for third.

The winning photos will be compiled in an annual book and will be shown at exhibits in Turkey and abroad throughout the year.

For a list of all the winners, visit: http://istanbulphotoawards.com/

Istanbul Photo Awards jury hails diversity of pictures

‘We chose the photo that other people haven’t seen,’ says 2019 jury head


A jury of international experts has completed the selection process for the winners of the Istanbul Photo Awards 2019, the fifth edition of Anadolu Agency’s global news photo contest.

The jury members spent two days in Istanbul, Turkey’s art and culture capital, to select the top three images in four categories each as part of the contest. The winners will be announced on Thursday.

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines co-sponsored the international news photo contest.

This year, Deborah Copaken, an American photojournalist and author, has joined the jury for the first time as the event chairwoman.