'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

Judgement Day

photoc-camera_w2Several moons ago friends, fellow nature lovers and environmental activists from Dalyan asked me to join a judging panel for a photo competition they were organising. The logic behind our Okçular Book Project has always been to encourage people to get out into the beautiful countryside around here, use their eyes, and discover some of the amazing flora and fauna, people and views to be found. That being the case I was delighted to accept the invitation, not least because it is always enjoyable to see things through the eyes of others.

Each month the panel would sift through the entries in three separate categories and select winners and runners-up. These were then printed out and put on public display.

jury2(credit: Co Jonker)

Dalyan photo comp jury

Finally, the panel gathered yesterday to select the overall winners and runners-up in each group. We were not looking for the most professional photos, this is after all a competition for enthusiasts and total amateurs. What we were looking for were moments in time that captured the essence of Dalyan, its human and wild inhabitants and the surrounding area. It was interesting how few photos that had been ‘colour enhanced’ or otherwise ‘fiddled’ with made it through the earlier rounds.

Here are the category winners and runners up:

Flora and Fauna

1st flora and fauna

‘Squacco Heron’ – John Codling – a great capture with terrific detail


‘Jay’ – Mark Mills

Village Life and Scenes

1st village life

‘Crocheting Lady’ – Serhad Özsoy – the detail of the scarf oya really draws you in


‘Honey Colours’ – Quentin Alder


1st Landscapes

‘Foggy Iztuzu’ – Monique Boon – this beautifully balanced, moody shot of Iztuzu Beach captured the eye of more panel members than any other and was judged the best overall picture in the competition


‘Serene Köyceğiz Lake’ – Carla de Cuijper

Generous prizes donated by local businesses will be sent to the category winners and the runners up will receive a copy of the Okçular Village Guide Book courtesy of yours truly. It was a lot of fun to see so many excellent photos and it has spurred me on to ‘see’ stuff around me in a different light.

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

12 thoughts on “Judgement Day

  1. Such a wonderful occasion and you’re rightly to be there as a judge as we love your photos! Some great work here, loved especially ‘Crocheting Lady’ and all the beautiful scenery – they’re lucky to get your wonderful Okcular Book!

  2. Thank you Özlem! It’s great that Co and Maria organised this competition and did all the hard work associated with these things – the judging panel had the easy and enjoyable part.

  3. Thank you for your kind words Alan. You and Janet have set us a very good example of what can be achieved in a rural community if you persevere and act in respect for background and long-lived habits and customs.

    We started the photo competition because we feel that showing things of beauty at people’s feet and around the corner leads to appreciation, and that is the only way to make people aware that there’s so much worth preserving and so much to lose. We have been surprised by the great response and are really glad that this was not merely “a foreigners’ thing”. After a slow start, local Turkish photographers started sending their entries as well. The first one who did is our 6 mth/yr neighbour Serhad, who was the winner of the Culture & Village Life category with a splendid photo of Nevsat -the sweetest of mothers- crocheting.
    We are also glad that two really good local Turkish photographers were willing to join the jury team and that one of them is determined to make this an even bigger event next year with support of the Ortaca municipality. We’ll see what it brings, but are sure to continue …

    1. . . it was a pleasure to contribute and see so many good and ‘enthusiastic’ entries – believe me, I got much from it. The aim of the competition is admirable and I do hope you get the support of Ortaca municipality along with local Turkish participation in all aspects of it. keep on truckin’ with the things you do.

  4. A great honor for you, Alan, to be asked to be part of the final judgement. Inspiring photos of an inspiring part of Turkey. Congrats to the winners, the runners-up, all the contestants and the panel of judges. Aferin!

    1. . . it was interesting to be part of the panel. And I was surprised that there were no macro shots or photos of senior dogs in the sesame fields entered!

    1. . . they are indeed – only the two Turkish judges were professionals (both news media I think). By and large the standard was excellent and the competition organisers hope that it will be expanded up in future years.

Comments are closed.