Aydın Doğan Cartoon Contest winners awarded

The 2017 contest received 2,220 cartoons from 641 artists spanning 63 countries.

The winners of the 34th Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Contest, organized by the Aydın Doğan Foundation (ADF), received their awards on Nov. 30 at a ceremony held at Osman Hamdi Bey Hall at Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. Before the ceremony, the award-winning cartoonists met with younger artists for a workshop.

Speaking at the opening of the ceremony, ADF President Hanzade Doğan Boyner said the Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Contest was one of the most important cartoon contests in the world.

“This is the largest cartoon contest in the world. So far artists from 178 countries have joined the contest, submitting nearly 8,000 cartoons over 34 years,” Doğan Boyner said.

She added that the competition was less a contest than a shared platform aiming to improve the standards of “insightful” cartoon art in Turkey.

"Cartoonists shed light on societal problems. Sometimes they reveal very important problems that we ignore in our day-to-day lives. They make us think. As a foundation our purpose is to contribute to education and art in Turkey,” she said.

Gender equality is one issue the foundation has singled out. Last year the organizers introduced a new section titled “Empowered Girls, Empowered Futures” This year a Turkish cartoonist won the section’s award.

The 2017 contest received 2,220 cartoons from 641 artists spanning 63 countries. From these submissions the awards committee chose 261 cartoons from 187 artists spanning 40 countries. These 261 cartoons were then evaluated by a jury, headed by Tan Oral, at the Bodrum Işıl Club. Other jury members included Ercan Akyol, Latif Demirci, Piyale Madra (Turkey), Rudy Gheysens (Belgium), Mohsen Nouri Najafi (Iran), Peter Nieuwendijk (Netherlands), Joel Pett (U.S.) and Cristina Sampaio (Portugal).

British cartoonist Ross Thomson, a recipient of many awards in previous years, was announced the winner of this year’s contest.

The second and third places of the contest went to Iranian cartoonist Shahram Rezai and Brazilian Raimundo Rucke Santos Souza, respectively. The runner-up and third place cartoons tackled migration and refugee issues.

Thomson received his award from ADF Deputy Honorary Chair Sema Doğan.

Rezai was presented with the award by Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Rector Professor Yalçın Karayağız and Souza received the award from Boyner.

Fethi Gürcan Mermertaş, the winner of the “Empowered Girls, Empowered Futures” section, also received an award at the ceremony.

In addition, the contest’s “merit awards” went to Alessandro Gatto (Italy), Darko Drijevic (Montenegro), Dokhshid Qodratipour (Iran), Ehsan Ganji (Iran), Krzysztof Grzondziel (Poland), Luc Descheemaker (Belgium), Muhammed Djerlek (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Silvano Mella (Brazil), Vasco Gargalo (Portugal), the third prize winner Souza (Brazil) and the winner of the contest, Thomson (Britain).

ADF Executive Director Candan Fetvacı said they received thousands of cartoons from across the world every year.

“Cartoonists from all the continents are represented here today. We have brought together so many young people. That is why there is such interest,” she said.