AFP’s Turkish photographer Bülent Kılıç awarded by Time Magazine
A man kisses his son, rescued from a mine after an explosion hit a coal mine in Soma on May 13. AFP Photo / Bülent KılıçAgence France-Presse’s Turkish photographer Bülent Kılıç received Time Magazine’s prestigious Best Wire Photographer of 2014 award, with his stunning shots in a busy year full of events in Turkey.
Particularly, his photograph catching the emotion of a father seeing his miner son rescued became a defining image of the distress that followed the worst mining disaster in Turkey’s history in the Aegean coal capital of Soma, which cost the lives of 301 workers.
Kılıç recalls the situation as a thorny one for a photographer. “Some miners and their families were attacking the press. You have to understand, their children, their husbands were trapped in the mine,” he told Time Magazine, recognizing that the picture was a “very important one” for him.
The 35-year-old photographer also succeeded in capturing the exact moment when fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were the target of an air strike on a hill nearby the besieged Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane in another memorable photograph.
Kılıç explained in his interview with Time that 2014 has been an exhausting year, as he ran to and fro from one event to another, starting with the clashes in Ukraine in January. He also said he missed spending time at home with his wife and baby boy. “When you go on an assignment for many weeks, or months even, at a time, you have to find time to stay at home,” he says, while adding that his family shows full support for his work. “They know I like this life and this job, and they respect it.”
Previous winners of the award were Muhammed Muheisen in 2013, Marco Longari in 2012, Pete Muller in 2011 and Mauricio Lima in 2010.
You can click here to read Time Magazine’s article on Kılıç.
Here are some of Kılıç's shots that marked 2014:
ISIL militants stand just before explosion of an air strike on Tilşehir hill near, Turkish-Syrian border at Yumurtalık village, in Şanlıurfa province.
A young man protects a woman as they face a police officer after a police crackdown on crowds gatherd on the central Istiklal avenue near Taksim square in Istanbul to mark the first anniversary of the Gezi protests.
A Syrian Kurdish woman fleeing after ISIL's assault on Kobane crosses the border between Syria and Turkey
at the southeastern town of Suruç in Şanlıurfa province.
A young woman is pictured after she was wounded during the police crackdown that followed the funeral of the 15-year-old Gezi victim, Berkin Elvan, in Istanbul last March.