By Heidi Trautmann
On Tuesday, March 27, I went early to find the time and space necessary to see the results of this year’s photo competition held for the 4th time before the masses flocked into the Atatürk Cultural Centre. I found Buket Öztay, the daughter and the organizer besides her brothers Özfer and Ozhan, busy to do the last arrangements for the opening ceremony; I complimented her on the successful outcome which was partly due to her perfect organization. She stood there reading a poem with each line starting with the letters of her father’s name, donated by one of the participants I suppose. Touching. At the entrance I found a collage of photos showing her father in various stages of life.
There were altogether 720 entries by 109 participants in the colour category, 480 entries by 94 competitors in the black and white category and 185 entries by 58 competitors in the underwater category, which makes 1385 photos for the jury to choose from!
261 competitors, that is truly a great participation, much more than ever before in a competition. It shows the importance and the position that photography is holding today.
For the first time the organizer has included the category ‘Underwater’ to the programme and the results are very beautiful.
The exhibition was opened by his daughter Buket Özatay. The President of the TRNC Mr Derviş Eroğlu congratulated the winners with achievement awards for Lisani Otağ in the category colour; Hakan Kaşif in the black and white category; and Oğuz Köse in the underwater category. Özatay Special Awards were given to Devrim Yücel Besim (colour); Mustafa Evirgen (black and white ) and a Kemal Saracoğlu Special Award to Tevfik Camgöz.
The members of the jury for colour and black and white categories were Prof. Mehmet Bayhan, Cem Turgay, Ümit Esinler and for the Underwater Category five members were asked to make their choice: Dr. Hakan Öniz, Dr. Burak Ali Çiçek, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Bayhan, Cem Turgay and Ümit Esinler.
Öztan Özatay who had served Turkish Cypriot photography for all his life and died much too young, would be very pleased that the initiative his children had undertaken was so successful. The competition will go on next year, so look out for motives when you walk through your daily life. Participants over 17 years of age with a student’s visa, a residency or work permit can apply, at least that was the condition for this year.
As I cannot show all the pictures I will name only the winners but show a few more without names. You still have time to see the exhibition until April 4.