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Explosive Photo Of Russian Ambassador Assassin Wins World Press Photo 2017 Competition

Burhan Ozbilici, who captured the haunting image of the man who assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey, has been crowned the winner of the World Press Photo 2017 contest.

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An Assassination in Turkey

© Burhan Ozbilici, The Associated Press


Burhan Ozbilicil, staff photographer for The Associated Press, has been awarded the top accolade in the World Press Photo 2017 contest.

In its 60th year, the competition honours the skills and creativity of photographers who have captured 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 Altintas, a 22-year-old off-duty police officer, assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, at an art exhibition in Ankara. 

In an interview with AP, Burhan  Ozbilici said: "I immediately decided to do my job because I could be wounded, maybe die, but at least I have to represent good journalism."

Commenting on the image, Mary F. Calvert, member of the jury who judge the entries, said: "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 epitomises the definition of what the World Press Photo of the Year is and means."

5,034 photographers from 125 countries submitted 80,408 images for this year's competition and the jury gave prizes in eight categories to 45 photographers from 25 countries.

Last year, Australian photographer Warren Richardson was awarded the World Press Photo of the Year accolade for his image showing refugees crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary. 

View all the awarded images on the World Press Photo website and learn more about the judging of the competition in the below interview with Chair of the News and Documentary Jury and Chair of the General Jury for the 2017 World Press Photo Contest, Stuart Franklin. 



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