Exhibition opens in London

The third exhibition of the Istanbul Photo Awards 2023, an international news photography contest, opened in London. The exhibition features the selection of works of 29 award-winning photographers in the contest organized by Anadolu until Dec. 15.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Turkish Ambassador to London Osman Koray Ertas defined the photos as powerful images that are impacting "all our daily lives and globally as well."

Saying that it is very difficult to reach the truth and the truth is "quite blurry," he added that the field of information has become another field of fighting in addition to conventional wars.

"In such environments, we are proud as a nation that we have a powerful, respectful and truthful news agency, not only for our country and people but globally serving for unleashing the truth," said Ertas.

Speaking about the situation in Gaza, he said that one part of the world turned a blind eye to what is happening, adding: "We are grateful to Anadolu to have a wide coverage of the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli state."

He also conveyed his condolences over the death of Montaser Al-Sawaf, an Anadolu freelance cameraman, who was killed in Israeli airstrikes on Friday. 

'Every photograph is also a piece of evidence' 

Speaking at the event, Anadolu's President and CEO Serdar Karagoz said: "As Anadolu, we have believed in the power of photography since our foundation in 1920."

He said that the agency has a 103-year visual archive of around 13 million photographs on its Anadolu Images platform while offering an average of 4,000 photos per day to the world.


Anadolu's President and CEO Serdar Karagoz

Karagoz said that the Istanbul Photo Awards, which has been organized since 2015, is the biggest indicator of the agency's impact in the field of photography.

"We utilize the power of photography to reward and encourage photojournalists who work hard to practice their work in a variety of difficult circumstances," he stated.

Karagoz went on to say that the contest, in its 9th year, has grown to be "one of the most prominent news photography contests in the world," with 16,000 photographers having registered.

"The award-winning photographs span a wide range of subjects from the tragedy in Palestine, developments in Nigeria, to environmental changes related to lithium resources, natural wildlife conservation efforts in Thailand, the World Cup in Qatar, bullfighting in Portugal, icebreakers in the Arctic Ocean, and albinos in the African continent," he added.

Karagoz also pointed out that they have also included in the exhibition the previously awarded photographs showing "the bloody face of war in Palestine," following the Israeli attacks on Palestinians.

"Because every photograph is also a piece of evidence. As Anadolu, when lies are louder than the truth, we consider it our duty to defend the truth," he added.

He vowed to keep documenting and sharing every vicious act that disregards international law and human rights.

"International justice will prevail sooner or later, and when those who kill babies, children, and civilians are taken to court, these photographs will be the most significant proof," he underlined.

Karagoz also reminded that the applications for the 10th Istanbul Photo Awards have begun which will continue until Jan. 17. He invited all professional photographers to participate in Istanbul Photo Awards. 

'Recording such moments extends their impact thousands fold'

For his part, Mehmet Karakus, director of Yunus Emre Institute London, said that they feel "very privileged to host such a prestigious exhibition" in their center.

Reminding a proverb, "(spoken) words fly away, written ones remain," he said that this is not just a personal reminder of the power of words, but an indicator of the importance of recording "what occurs around us."


Referring to the selected photos at the exhibition, Karakus said that recording such moments extends their impact "thousands-fold, creating the potential for inspiration, change, and progress."

Speaking to Anadolu at the exhibition, photographer Alex Broadway, who won the 3rd Prize in the Single Sports category in this year’s contest, said it is a “prestigious” and “great competition.”

The coveted Photo of the Year award went to Sergey Kozlov, a photographer from the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA), for his work titled Ukraine-Russia War, as recognized by the international jury.

Organized with the support of Nikon Türkiye, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), and Turkish Airlines, the contest delivered awards across 10 categories in this year's edition after the jury made its selection among 21,000 photo submissions.

For more information about the competition and to view the winning photos, please visit https://istanbulphotoawards.com/.

Applications open for 10th annual İstanbul Photo Awards

Prizes worth $60,000 to be distributed in contest that would feature newsworthy photos taken in 2023

Applications for the 10th year of the İstanbul Photo Awards, where the photos that define the world agenda compete, have opened.

The international news photography contest, organized by Anadolu for the 10th time, aims to support press photography.

Every year, about 20,000 photos are sent to the İstanbul Photo Awards, which is recognized as one of the world’s top photography contests.

There is no requirement for applicants to be affiliated with a press organization to apply for the contest, which is open only to the participation of professional photographers.

Photographers can take part in the contest with newsworthy photographs taken between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023.

Entries are being accepted in 10 categories: Single News, Story News, Single Sports, Story Sports, Single Nature and Environment, Story Nature and Environment, Single Daily Life, Story Daily Life, along with Single Portrait and Story Portrait.

Contestants have the right to apply in all categories and they may submit both published and unpublished photos.

Extensive information about the application requirements of the contest, which provides accurate information about the photographers' personal information and details about the photo, can be accessed from the website.

The Photo of the Year Award will be given to the photo that stands in first place in the Single News category, and the photojournalist will receive a $6,000 prize.

The first-place winners in each category will be awarded $3,000, the second-place winners $1,500, and the third-place winners $1,000.

Two separate prizes worth $1,000 will be awarded to the works on discrimination among the applications made in all serial categories and the works of young photographers under the age of 28, especially for the decennial of the contest.

The contest jury, featuring star-studded figures from the photography world, will award the best photos in April.

The jury members will evaluate the submitted photos from many different points of view, such as technical proficiency, perspective, movement, and emotion.

Applications are only available at istanbulphotoawards.com through Jan. 17.

Furthermore, information about the photos, exhibitions, photo albums, and jury members who have received awards in the past years can also be reached at the contest website.

2023 New York exhibition opens

Exhibition will run through Nov. 8 at Blue Gallery

The second edition of the 2023 Istanbul Photo Awards, an international news photography competition organized by Anadolu, opened on Nov.1, 2023 in New York. The exhibition will run through Nov. 8 at the Blue Gallery.

It was attended by the president and CEO of Anadolu, Serdar Karagoz, New York City's Commissioner for International Affairs Edward Mermelstein and Reyhan Ozgur, the Turkish Consul General in New York, as well as foreign representatives, academics and prominent figures in the photography world.

Notable attendees included Aaron Jackson, photo desk manager at the Associated Press’s headquarters in New York, and award-winning photographer Alain Schroeder, who had been recognized in previous editions of the competition.

Organized with support from Nikon Türkiye, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines, the exhibition showcases the works of 29 photographers who secured awards in the 9th edition of the competition.

In addition, it features previous award-winning photographs highlighting the theme of Palestine.

Visitors to the exhibition had the opportunity to explore a diverse array of photographs ranging from the Ukraine-Russia war to events in Palestine, child trafficking in Nigeria, environmental changes induced by lithium, wildlife studies in Thailand, the World Cup in Qatar, bullfights in Portugal, icebreakers in the Arctic Sea and albinos on the African continent, providing a comprehensive overview of global events from the past year.

A total of 29 photographers received awards across 10 categories in this year's competition. The coveted "Photo of the Year" award went to Sergey Kozlov, a photographer from the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA), for his work titled "Ukraine-Russia War," as recognized by the international jury.

'Power of photography'

During the exhibition's opening, Karagoz said the 165 photographs on display represent a "paused version of each moment."

He emphasized that Anadolu "has always believed in the power of photography since its establishment, recognizing photography as a vital component of news."

"In its 9th year, our competition has evolved into a global platform with 16,000 registered photographers, establishing itself as one of the most esteemed news photography competitions internationally," said Karagoz.

He added that photographers from around the world participate in the competition, presenting single and serial photographs across categories such as news, sports, environment, portraits and daily life.

The next exhibit will take place in London in the coming days, according to Karagoz.

Mermelstein extended his congratulations to the organizers, participants and winners of the competition. He said the exhibit stands as a significant art form in illuminating crucial issues.

Mermelstein said Anadolu's photography competition plays a crucial role in narrating important global stories and fostering a deeper cultural understanding.

Ozgur, the consul general, highlighted the significant purpose served by the competition and exhibition, emphasizing that "the photographs are etched into history."

He said that "over the years, Anadolu has rightfully earned its unique position among global news agencies," adding the company evolved into a brand, maintaining reliability and credibility as a news source.

For more information about the competition, which will soon begin accepting applications for 2024, and to view the winning photos, visit https://www.istanbulphotoawards.com/.

Istanbul Photo Awards 2023 exhibition opens in Istanbul

Contest becomes one of most prestigious news photography competitions in international arena, says Anadolu Director General Serdar Karagoz

Anadolu's flagship Istanbul Photo Awards 2023 exhibition has kicked off in Türkiye, showcasing award-winning news photographs from international contestants of the event, which drew a large number of people as well as high dignitaries.

Handan Inci Elci, president of the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSU), Ukrainian Consul General in Istanbul Roman Nedilskyi, and Beyoglu municipality Mayor Haydar Ali Yildiz attended the exhibition at the campus Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Center Five Domes Hall in Türkiye’s metropolitan Istanbul, on Tuesday.

The exhibition, which runs until Sept. 29 and culminates with awards for the best photographs in various categories, was hosted by Serdar Karagoz, the director general of Anadolu, Türkiye’s international wire service.

Speaking at the ceremony, Karagoz said that “in its 9th year, our competition has become a global platform with 16,000 photographers registered and one of the most prestigious news photography competitions in the international arena.”

“News photographers from all over the world are participating in our competition, where single and series photographs are evaluated in the fields of news, sports, environment, portraits, and daily life,” he added.

He said the international jury has difficulty selecting the winners from among 21,000 photographs, adding that "the tragedy caused by the Russia-Ukraine War is this year's leading theme."

Pointing out that Anadolu will also organize similar events in the Turkish capital of Ankara, the UN Headquarters in New York, as well as in London in the coming days, Karagoz thanked the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University for hosting the exhibition, which is supported by Nikon Türkiye, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines (THY).

"Istanbul Photo Awards is a very important international brand created by an important Turkish institution. Based on the qualifications and number of participants in this contest, we can easily say that these competitions have now matured," jury member Ahmet Sel said for his part.

Emphasizing that Istanbul Photo Awards will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year, Sel said the competition has come a long way during the last nine years and has become one of the most important photography competitions in the world.

So many ‘strong pictures to choose from’ at this year’s Istanbul Photo Awards, says jury member

‘It was really difficult to say one was the best because they were all so powerful,’ says acclaimed photojournalist Carol Guzy

There was such a wealth of quality choices at this year’s Istanbul Photo Awards that it was hard to pick the winners, said a member of the jury for the esteemed competition.

“We had so many, so many really strong pictures to choose from, it was really difficult to say (which) one was the best because they were all so powerful,” Carol Guzy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, told Anadolu.

On the Photo of the Year winner, showing a burned personnel carrier next to a lifeless soldier’s body in Ukraine, Guzy said the image by Sergey Kozlov of the German-based EPA agency “had the feel of an iconic image, almost nostalgic.”

“This just felt like a photo from a bygone era. It had that iconic feel to it that I think you know, everybody was moved by. The palette is very sort of monotone black and white with just this hint of red blood that that was extremely compelling, and I think left an indelible mark on our consciousness,” she said.

“But I also personally, I also felt that third place was a strong contender,” she added, speaking about Alkis Konstantinidis’ image of a woman in Ukraine mourning the death of her elderly father. “It was heart-wrenching emotion. It was a photo in Ukraine. You know, the civilian deaths. I feel like that is the story of Ukraine.”

She said that Ukraine was the top news story of 2022, and this affected the images submitted to the awards competition.

Guzy herself also went to Ukraine to document the war. “It was a hard decision to make to even cover the war for many reasons,” she explained. “Health issues for one thing, so I decided to cover features, not front line, though all of Ukraine is really a front line. There's nowhere that's safe. I experienced the civilian toll firsthand.”

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Choosing the winners

Guzy, a photojournalist with over four decades of experience, said that “content and moments are key” when making a decision on the winners of the contest.

“I can forgive technical quality that's not just right spot on for a picture that moves me. You know, the thing to reach someone on a visceral, personal, emotional level should always be the goal and provide some depth, especially with stories,” she said.

Guzy said that the viewer can be subjective and this should be kept in mind, adding: “Just because you didn't make first place doesn't mean your photo wasn't very powerful and deserving of merit in some way.”

She also advised photojournalists who want to enter the competition next year to “be more careful with captions.”

“I think it really can make a whole difference with the photo or the story … when we understand better the meaning behind it, and the importance of that image,” she explained.

Categories in the contest

Guzy said the contest covering a diverse world with additional categories in the news and sports categories is critically important.

“I personally feel that daily life, portrait, and nature photography (deserve) equally important coverage,” she said.

Such categories have “the ability to transcend that immediate spot news story, give us a deeper look at issues or sometimes just the gentle poetry of daily life. And the environment is of course critical to all life on Earth and paramount to our survival,” she added.

The first place winner in the Single Nature category, Brais Lorenzo’s, showing people in swimsuits watching nearby forest fires, was a juxtaposition between bathers and wildfire. “That was really compelling, it was very quirky image that was arresting in many ways,” said Guzy.

Bence Mate’s photo of birds was also a delightful image to look at, with Guzy saying: “I don't think we need to only focus on the problem but sometimes we just need to show that innate joy of the life experience.”

On the winning photo of a woman who cut her hair in solidarity with Iranian protesters, Rebirth, Guzy said: “It was deeply moving, and the other portraits were also incredibly evocative."


Guzy stressed the need to find a way to bring documentary photojournalism to the public, saying: “Anytime we can highlight such powerful coverage is critical to world understanding, and photojournalists also should be recognized for doing this outstanding work, whether it's in high- risk situations or their neighborhoods.”

She said that there's a great power in photojournalism, and photojournalists are the eyes of the world, adding: “It may not change the world that day, but it could incrementally change people's awareness, for an issue, create positive change, certainly open people's eyes.”

“But truth, truth is a loaded word. Whose truth? So we can't necessarily say we're always offering the truth, but it's our responsibility, I think, to try our very best to accurately portray any situation for others to judge,” she said.

However, she said, people are starting to lose trust in the media, and the rise of artificial intelligence may only make things worse.

“I think it's our responsibility to try to educate people about our role in providing coverage and a difference when it's done by trained professionals,” she said.

War, disaster photojournalism, advice for budding journalists

Guzy said that covering conflict and natural disasters comes with personal risks but also requires the emotional courage to witness atrocities and the profound suffering from man's frequent inhumanity.

“I think the goal is always to put a face on the number of casualties or issues that we're trying to explain, that can evoke empathy with viewers, and also, of course, raising awareness,” she said.

“But I think we need to find balance, and also highlight those moments of hope, which sometimes we forget to do as journalists, I think, in any dire situation, there are angels that rise above the chaos to help,” she added.

She also said that she came to Türkiye briefly after two earthquakes shook the country’s southeast this February, taking over 50,000 lives and flattening many areas.

“It felt like being in Armageddon. The one thing you can't photograph really is the scale, the number of people and the amount of cities that were affected – it was it was heart wrenching,” she said.

To young photojournalists, she advised against jumping into war zones without proper training as they would not only risk their own lives but also others who try to help them.

She said rookie journalists and photojournalists can learn more from doing feature stories.

“Journalism is not a job. I mean, for those of us who love it, it's a passion. It's our heart. It's our life, literally. If I can't be a visual storyteller, it's like you took the oxygen out of a room and I can't breathe,” she added.

This year’s Istanbul Photo Awards are supported by Nikon, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), and Turkish Airlines, the nation’s flag carrier.

All the winners can be seen by visiting istanbulphotoawards.com/winner/index