2017 World Press Photo Awards
The World Press Photo of the Year honors the photographer whose visual creativity and skills made a picture that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the last year.
Burhan Ozbilici’s picture–which also won first prize in the Spot News Stories category–shows how Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, a 22-year-old off-duty police officer, assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, at an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, on 19 December 2016. Altıntaş wounded three other people before being killed by officers in a shootout. Ozbilici is a staff photographer for The Associated Press, based in Istanbul.
Mary F. Calvert, member of the jury, spoke about the winning photograph:
“It was a very very difficult decision, but in the end we felt that the picture of the Year was an explosive image that really spoke to the hatred of our times. Every time it came on the screen you almost had to move back because it’s such an explosive image and we really felt that it epitomizes the definition of what the World Press Photo of the Year is and means.”
Jury member João Silva added:
"Right now I see the world marching towards the edge of an abyss. This is a man who has clearly reached a breaking point and his statement is to assassinate someone who he really blames, a country that he blames, for what is going on elsewhere in the region. I feel that what is happening in Europe, what is happening in America, what is happening in the Far East, Middle East, Syria, and this image to me talks of it. It is the face of hatred."
The 2017 Photo Contest in numbers
The 2017 contest drew entries from around the world: 5,034 photographers from 125 countries submitted 80,408 images. The jury gave prizes in eight categories to 45 photographers from 25 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syria, New Zealand, Turkey, UK, and USA.
Discover all of the winners and the awarded photos in an image gallery: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/collection/photo/2017
Jury member Tanya Habjouqa said about this year’s winners:
“It was a very intense, sometimes brutal, discussion—sometimes even emotional—but I feel proud. I think we were brave in our decision. We were bold. I think the selection is definitely going to push forward a debate and I think it is a debate that is essential to have.”