Fourth Exhibition Opens in Ankara

12-day exhibition welcomes visitors at Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Ada Ankara till Dec. 30

The Istanbul Photo Awards 2023 exhibition kicked off on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in the Turkish capital Ankara, with Anadolu's President and CEO Serdar Karagoz attending the opening ceremony.

The 12-day exhibition of the Istanbul Photo Awards 2023, an international news photography competition organized by Anadolu, opened in Ankara's Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Ada Ankara concert hall.

Speaking at the ceremony, Karagoz said the exhibition brings together the award-winning photographs from the Istanbul Photo Awards 2023 to share them with photography enthusiasts.

When international photo competitions examined, it becomes evident that images captured in war zones, conflicts, and crises often garner more attention compared to non-dramatic photos, he said.

Highlighting the preference for photos depicting distress over those displaying joy and hope, Karagoz said: "Although we know they might affect us negatively, we cannot help but look at these photos. Connecting with people and building strong empathy often comes from feeling their pain. This bond is most evident in photographs."

Karagoz recalled the intense attacks by Israel on Gaza since Oct. 7, emphasizing that revealing the reality of the war and establishing a connection among people with the suffering caused by this conflict is one of Anadolu's significant responsibilities.

Drawing attention to the significant number of casualties among journalists and media workers in Gaza, Karagoz emphasized the severity of the situation. "We are talking about a conflict where a total of 96 journalists lost their lives. Among these journalists is our colleague, cameraman Montaser Al-Sawaf, who was working in Gaza," he said.

Last week, Israeli forces assaulted Anadolu photojournalist Mustafa Alkharouf, who was working in occupied East Jerusalem, he said.

"On behalf of both Montaser Al-Sawaf and all our colleagues who lost their lives and were subjected to violence in the attacks of the Israeli government in Gaza, we will continue our struggle to ensure that those who carried out these attacks are held accountable under international law," he added.

Presenting the book titled Evidence, published by Anadolu, which features photos and visuals that vividly expose Israel's crimes in Gaza, Karagoz said the book, available in three languages – Turkish, English, and Arabic – has been distributed to national and international lawyers advocating for Palestinian rights.

Regarding the exhibition, Karagoz highlighted the diversity of submissions, saying he believes that the Istanbul Photo Awards, highly regarded by professional photographers, will reach even more photographers in 2024.

"Until now, photographers from around the world, including Brazil, Nepal, Canada, Nigeria, Japan, and Palestine, have applied to our competition," he said.

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.

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.

The exhibition, supported by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, will be open for visits until Dec. 30 at Ada Ankara concert hall.

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