Health workers protest in Istanbul (1st winner)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Human Rights Academy of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) Turkey addressed various effects of the pandemic at its educational events. Undoubtedly, one area where the impact of the pandemic was felt, most strongly was freedom of expression, given that assemblies and demonstrations were not possible and activities in public areas were restricted. We have therefore decided to draw attention to this topic through a photo competition in spring 2022.
Protest of Migrant workers (2nd winner)
Photojournalists from all regions of Turkey participated with a total of 200 submissions. A panel consisting of representatives of the German Missions Abroad, the Turkish Photojournalists Association, human rights organizations, and the FNF selected 20 works. Among them were documentations of police violence, the months-long protests at Boğaziçi University as well as illustrations of the isolation many people faced during the pandemic.
The winning photo, by Sedat Suna, displays protests of health workers in Istanbul; second-place Ozan Acıdere covered the protests of Migros supermarket employees; and third-place Vedat Örüç also documented a demonstration. The photos were presented to a larger audience at exhibitions at the German Embassy in Ankara and the Consulate General Istanbul.
May 1st in the shadow of the pandemic (3rd winner)
Udo Di Fabio, the former constitutional judge, gave impressive keynote speeches at both events, reflecting on the value and limits of freedom of expression from a German perspective. Afterwards, civil society leaders discussed the state of freedom of expression in Turkey as perceived by academia, the NGO sector, human rights defenders, or the media. Beyond these physical events, the photos were published in a social media campaign to bring attention to the situation regarding freedom of speech during the pandemic.