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Press Centre (11/2016)

70 photographs for 70 years devoted to children

From Left to Right: REZA, Oğuz Sağdıç, UNICEF Representative Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF National Ambassador Tuba Büyüküstün, Ozan Sağdıç, Coşkun Aral, Tamer Yılmaz. Photo: ©UNICEF Turkey/2016/Solakoglu
ANKARA, 23 November 2016  UNICEF has launched its 70th anniversary celebrations in Turkey with an inspiring photo exhibition in Ankara’s CerModern Museum on 22 November. Over 200 hundred guests from governmental institutions, international organizations, civil society, private sector and media attended the opening event. The exhibition features 70 photos of children taken by 9 prominent artists: Ara Güler, Coşkun Aral, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, REZA, Ozan-Oğuz Sağdıç, Sebastian Rich, Tamer Yılmaz and UNICEF National Ambassador Tuba Büyüküstün.

All 70 photos reflect the spirit of 70 years devoted by UNICEF to children: Dedication, care, determination and a refusal to abandon hope against all odds. Even under the most terrible circumstances, the optimism and enthusiasm transmitted by children remain the source of inspiration behind UNICEF’s efforts to promote the rights and wellbeing of every child. “UNICEF has always stood for the rights of the children everywhere in the world,” said award-winning photographer REZA, one of the contributors to the exhibition, during his remarks at the opening event. “I am much honored to be part of this exhibition.”

UNICEF’s Representative in Turkey, Philippe Duamelle, thanked the artists who contributed with their photos to the exhibition “I am truly grateful for their immediate and enthusiastic support to this initiative,” he said. “They all have amazing stories to share.” He also declared that this milestone anniversary was an opportunity to highlight all the reasons why UNICEF was founded and the relevance of its mandate.  

Hopes and wishes for every child
“I wish UNICEF many 70, 100 anniversaries more,” said veteran photographer and documentary film-maker Coşkun Aral, who donated all his exhibited photographs to UNICEF. “For years, UNICEF has captured faces of children around the world. I hope that the day will come when all children will have a smile on their faces with a sparkle in their eyes,” Aral said, expressing his great happiness of being part of the event. Ozan Sağdıç, one of the deans of Turkish photography, joined Aral in his wishes. Sağdıç told he had been a member of the Turkish National Committee for UNICEF in the 1970s and has maintained close ties ever since. “I wish all children to be children, to play and grow up happy,” he said.

The photos are also another testimonial reflecting that children all across the world still live deprived of many rights recognized in the UN Convention of the Rights of Children. The 9 artists who are taking part in the exhibition expressed one wish for every child, a right that they considered essential for their wellbeing. “I was immensely touched when I received the invitation to participate in the event. We rarely get opportunities like this,” said Turkish photographer Tamer Yılmaz, who photographed children with disabilities for the occasion. He presented his photos under the banner “For every child the right to be noticed.” “Being noticed and being accepted as who you are, aren’t they the most important things in life?” he said. “These children with disabilities in these photographs are telling the world ‘Look! This is who I am’.”
Wishes from artists who contributed to the exhibition for every child:

Ara Güler –For Every Child the Right to Life
Coşkun Aral – For Every Child the Right to a Safe Life
Nuri Bilge Ceylan – For Every Child the Right to Play
Ozan Sağdıç – For Every Child the Right to Civic Space
Oğuz Sağdıç – For Every Child the Right to a Bright Future
REZA – For Every Child the Right to a Childhood
Sebastian Rich – For Every Child the Right to Smile
Tamer Yılmaz – For Every Child the Right to Be Noticed
Tuba Büyüküstün – For Every Child the Right to Live Their Childhood

The exhibition will remain open to the public until 31 December 2016.

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.

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For further information, please contact
Sema Hosta, UNICEF in Turkey, +903124541010, shosta@unicef.org 
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org