Turkey's Aytek Çetin was crowned "Landscape Photographer of the Year" after four of his photographs, two of which were of Cappadocia, swept the "International Landscape Photographer Competition of the Year 2021" held in Australia.
On the back of his victory, Çetin said: "My goal was to bring these natural beauties of my country, our mountains and historical assets such as Cappadocia, to the fore and show them to the world; I am very proud of being able to do this."
The six-person jury of professional photographers at the competition held in Australia evaluated 4,500 photographs, four of which Aytek Çetin entered. The annual competition has been held for the past eight years with photographers from all over the world taking part.
Aytek Çetin's four photographs, two from Cappadocia, one from the Niğde Aladağlar mountain range and one from Georgia's Kazbek Mountains, were among the best 101 photos. Çetin was awarded the "Landscape Photographer of the Year" award, the competition's grand prize.
Çetin, who lives in Ankara, stated that he has participated in the competition for the last three years. "The competition selects the best four photos and all four photos were my the photos. Out of 4,500 photos, I was chosen as the landscape photographer of the year in the world. The criteria for this is that you need to impress the jury," he explained.
The jury examines the perspective from which the photographers have taken their shots and looks for photographs that break conventions and reflect a certain mood. "In 2019, only the photo I took in the Black Sea Kaçkar Mountains was among the 101 best photos," he said.
"My Cappadocia photo was among the best 101 photos in 2020. I didn't give up, I entered again because I thought I could win. This time, all four of my photos were among the top 101 and I won a prize of $5,000," he said.
Noting that he is very happy Turkey has made a name for itself in the field of landscape photography, Çetin explained: "This has been a great honor for me. It was a greater pride for me to participate with the photos of my country. I received both congratulatory messages from all over the world and Turkey. I receive messages asking, 'Does Turkey have such beautiful nature?' My biggest goal was to highlight these natural beauties in my country, our mountains and our historical assets such as Cappadocia and show them to the world."
Çetin is very proud to be able to do this.
Çetin explained how he started as an amateur photographer in 2012. "I bought a camera and started taking pictures as an amateur. First of all, I started from my own country, then I went to Georgia and took pictures there. My goal is to travel to different mountains, to discover the mysterious mountains of Asia.
"Out of thousands of photographers from all over the world and 4,500 photos, the winning photos being the ones I took from Turkey made me proud," he said.