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Anadolu Agency journalist wins Grand Prix in Russian photo contest

Sebnem Coskun shot award-winning photo of medical waste surrounding Turkish diver submerged in Bosphorus to collect rubbish

Ali Cura and Gozde Bayar   | 18.10.2021
Anadolu Agency journalist wins Grand Prix in Russian photo contest


An Anadolu Agency photojournalist on Monday won the Grand Prix at the Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest in Moscow.

Sebnem Coskun won the main prize with her single photo, New danger to life below water; COVID-19 waste. The winners of the competition were announced in the program organized by Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency in the Russian capital.

"In 2021, two pieces at once won the main prize of the contest: M+T a photo series by Mary Gelman, photographer from St. Petersburg, and Turkish reporter Sebnem Coskun's single photo 'New danger to life below water; COVID-19 waste'," the contest announced on its website.

Coskun's photo depicts medical waste floating in the water while Turkish diver and multiple world record holder Sahika Ercumen is seen collecting the rubbish in the Sea of Marmara off Istanbul, Turkey's largest city.

"It was my goal to express my opinion and point out the problem. For many years I have been working on marine pollution with plastic waste and microplastics," Coskun was quoted as saying on the website.

"Even before the pandemic, we could not cope with the huge volume of plastic in our ecosystem, and it has only existed for 60 or 70 years. The photo was taken in the Bosphorus (Strait). I was going to look for trash during the dive. But there was no need to look for: it was everywhere,” she said.

Coskun also received the special jury award for her serial work, The movement of refugees to Europe, in the news category and her single work, Turkish national swimmer Nil Sahin, in the sports category.

The 33-year-old photojournalist was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She started her photography career in 2008 and earned a master's degree in photography from Marmara University in Istanbul.

The Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest is an annual contest for young photojournalists aged between 18 and 33 years old. It is Russia's only platform for discovering new photojournalists and allowing them to make a name for themselves on the world photojournalism stage.

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