the essential The prize for the photo of the year was awarded at the Visual Arts Festival in Siena, Italy, which began this Saturday 23 October. Turkish photojournalist Mehmet Aslan won it thanks to his photo taken in Turkey.
In an interview with the Washington Post, photographer Mehmet Aslan says he came across this father of three in the south of the country. The father and his eldest son are survivors of the Syrian war. Mustafa, then 5 years old, was born without arms or legs. He suffers from a syndrome called tetraamelia, a congenital disease caused by the drugs his mother took during her pregnancy, after being exposed to nerve gas during the war. The father, Munzir, lost his right leg during a bombing in the city of Idlib.
“Calm the tensions”
The small family captured in Mehmet Aslan’s lens lived in a store, taking refuge in Turkey after fleeing Idlib, one of the last areas held by Islamist rebels in Syria. “I went from one hospital to another, there is not a city where I have not been, but I still have not found a prosthesis” declared the father of the family Munzir to the Washington Post, confident that one of the family’s main goals upon arriving in Turkey was to find prosthetics for the little boy, along with medical treatment. Nothing has been found yet.
“We have been trying for years to make our voices heard, hoping that someone will help us finance our son’s treatment. We would give anything to give him a better life,” the mother said. With this shot, the photojournalist hopes to give a voice to this family and help them in their research, but also help “to ease tensions against refugee communities in Turkey”.