The winners of the 34th Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Contest, organized by the Aydın Doğan Foundation and considered to be the Oscars of the cartoon world, were announced on June 20. The three winners have focused on the refugee crisis in their works.
British cartoonist Ross Thomson, a recipient of many awards in the previous years, was announced the winner of this year's contest.
This year, the contest received 2,220 cartoons by 641 artists from 63 countries. The preselected committee chose 261 cartoons by 187 artists from 40 countries. These 261 cartoons were evaluated by a committee, headed by Tan Oral, at the Bodrum Işıl Club. The other jury members included Ercan Akyol, Latif Demirci, Piyale Madra (Turkey), Rudy Gheysens (Belgium), Mohsen Nouri Najafi (Iran), Peter Nieuvvendijk (Netherlands), Joel Pett (U.S.) and Cristina Sampaio (Portugal).
After nine hours of evaluation, Thomson was chosen the winner for his cartoon that draws attention to the refugee crisis. The second and third places of the contest went to Iranian cartoonist ShahramRezai and Brazilian Raimundo Rucke Santos Souza, respectively. The runner-up and third place cartoons also focused on migration and refugee issues.
The winners of the contest's merit awards were Alessandro Gatto (Italy), Darko Drijevic (Montenegro), Dokhshid Qodratipour (Iran), Ehsan Ganji - with two cartoons - (Iran), Krzysztof Grzondziel (Poland), Luc Descheemaker (Belgium), Muhammed Djerlek (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Silvano Mella (Brazil), Vasco Gargalo (Portugal), the third winner Souza (Brazil) and the winner of the contest, Thomson (Britain).
'I thought of my daughter's future'
The winner of the "Strong Girls, Strong Tomorrows" category, organized for the first time this year in the contest to draw attention to the education of girls and the strengthening of their social position, was 52-year-old Fethi Gürcan Mermertaş from istanbul.
"I have a 12-year-old daughter named Yaz. Thinking of her future, i drew this cartoon. I wanted to shed light on girls because I've been hearing the things that they've being going through recently. It is very meaningful to me to get an award. Actually, i was about to miss the application deadline when I was drawing this cartoon. It is a last-minute cartoon," he said.
"The first three winners' cartoons illustrate drama in the best way. Also, a Turkish cartoonist won the 'Strong Girls, Strong Tomorrovvs' category, to which we give much importance. We will send our awards to four corners of the world," Aydın Doğan Foundation Executive Board President Candan Fetvacı said.
On display for a week
The cartoonists who won the first and special prizes in the contest will be given $8,000, while the winners of second and third places will be given $5,000 and $3,500, respectively. Each of the 12 artists who won the Merit Prize will be given $500.
The artists' awards will be presented at a ceremony to be held in November in Istanbul. The winning cartoons will be showed at the Milta Bodrum Marina Ottoman Shipyard Kaymakamlık Art Gallery until June 27.