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.