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.
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/.