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Photo of banned Istanbul Pride march wins Pride Photo Award 2016

A photo of riot police preventing the Istanbul Pride march in June 2016, wins the sixth edition of the international Pride Photo Award. The photo was made by Turkish photojournalist Akin Celiktas.

photo by Akin Celiktas

A photo of riot police preventing the Istanbul Pride march in June 2016, wins the sixth edition of the international Pride Photo Award. The photo was made by Turkish photojournalist Akin Celiktas.

Margriet van der Linden, chairman of Pride Photo Award, said: “We are extremely proud of this winner. Both the young woman in the picture and the photographer have shown great courage by choosing to be visible in spite of the repression. This is about freedom: the freedom to be yourself, freedom of demonstration, and freedom of press. That concerns everyone, all over the world.”

Jury chair Ayperi Karabuda Ecer, who previously chaired the World Press Photo jury and head of ADAY, the world’s largest photo project shot in one day, added: “The award is all the more urgent now, given the unstable position of the human rights of many LGBT people around the world. The winning picture in Istanbul captures this urgency in a moment of defiance in an increasingly threatening environment. The 2016 gay pride was banned in Istanbul. Increased homophobia and questioning of women’s rights overall, adds to the general tension in a country where violence and threats dominate.”

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The photographer captures a young woman who has chosen defiance against an increasingly conservative culture. We see her standing in the street while the riot police march past. The Pride march, which had been planned for Sunday June 26, 2016, was banned because of ‘security concerns’. Protesters turned up despite the ban and spread out in small groups, being visible in this way rather than in a march. Police dispersed protesters using tear gas and rubber bullets.

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The jury selected this image out of 3,600 entries by 398 photographers of 70 different nationalities.

The award ceremony and the official opening of the exhibition take place on 16 September in the Old Church in Amsterdam.

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