Istanbul Photo Awards is an international news photography contest organized by Anadolu Agency. The contest aims to contribute to the sphere of news photography and offers a perspective shaped by the region’s unique position at the center of diverse cultures. The awards reward endeavors of courageous and talented photojournalists from around the world on merit. Although it is only the fourth edition of the contest, Istanbul Photo Awards has become one of the most widely known news photography contests in the world. 

The contest has ten categories. Besides the first two years' categories; news single, news story, single  sports and story sports; there were single nature & environment, story nature & environment, single portrait and story portrait categories in the third year and now the categories have been extended to 10 with the single daily life and story daily life. A total of $10,000 award will be given to the winner of the Photo of the Year, which is the Single News 1st prize winner. In the contest, an additional $3,000 Young Photographer award is given to a winner under the age of 28. Winners of all categories will be given $8,000 for the first prize, $5,000 for the second and $3,000 for the third. Along with the generous awards of the contest aiming to support the hard work and dedication of news photographers worldwide, the application is totally free. 

The contest receives applications from more than 100 countries each year. The Istanbul Photo Awards 2018 received a lot of attention from photojournalists from all around the world. Almost 37,000 photographs from 125 countries sent to the contest.

In 2015, Daniel Berehulak won the Photo of the Year award with his photograph depicting the Ebola crisis. In 2016, Abd Doumany’s image of an injured Syrian boy was chosen as Photo of the Year by the international jury and in 2017, photographer Frederic Lafargue’s image titled “Escaping from Daesh” was chosen Photo of the Year 2017. In 2018, Damir Sagolj won the Photo of the Year award with the image of a dead boy in refugee camp in Banglades.

All the winning photographs have the power to engage people against wars and conflicts, and to familiarize them with different cultures. The jury had a very tough time selecting the most powerful photos of the year from such a strong field. Every year international jury meets in Turkey on March. In 2018 edition, Visual Media Advisor Georges De Keerle, AFP Director of Photo Business Development Michel Scotto, Photojournalist at NOOR agency Yuri Kozyrev, Paris Match Senior Digital Broadcasting Director Marion Mertens, Getty Images Chief Photographer Cameron Spencer, photojournalist Andrei Polikanov, Istanbul Photo Awards 2017 Photo of the Year winner Frederic Lafargue, Anadolu Agency Visual News Editor-in-Chief Ahmet Sel and Photography Editor Fırat Yurdakul are the jury members. 

After the jury gathering of 2017, a total of 16 participants took part in the Istanbul Photo Awards Workshop, including photographers from Anadolu Agency, young photojournalists from national media organizations of Turkey and seniors from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s photography department. Photojournalists Yuri Kozyrev and Stanly Greene shared key points from their careers apart from sharing their portfolios with the participants during the workshop. After the workshop, Kozyrev and Greene met photography enthusiasts at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s to share their valuable experience during the Istanbul Photo Awards Talks event. 

Every year online applications are accepted between Nov. 1- Jan. 31 via The results of the contest announced by the end of March each year. Award winning photographs will be published in Photobook which will be send almost everywhere all around the world to the photography professionals and displayed at significant galleries around the world such as Istanbul, Shanghai, New York, Vienna and Moscow. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) sponsor the contest. 

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