These pictures were taken by Turkish photographer Bülent Kiliç, who has been one of the most outstanding observers of the Syrian tragedy for many years. Between 13 and 15 June 2015, thousands tried to flee the fighting between Kurdish fighters and IS terrorists near the city Tal Abyad and to seek refuge in Turkey. Having taken in almost two million refugees already, Turkey, however, closed the border. Desperate refugees, among them many children, were looking for holes in the barbed wire, watched by grinning henchmen, pushed back by soldiers using water cannons and firing warning shots. In the end, though, many of the refugees made it through, mostly thanks to help from compassionate Turkish civilians.

How do such experiences burn into the minds and souls of children? When will they resurface? What power do they have over the children?

UNICEF establishes child-friendly spaces in refugee camps so that children can get a piece of normality.

Curriculum Vitae: Bülent Kiliç (AFP, Agence France Presse)

UNICEF Photo of the Year: Bülent Kiliç

Bülent Kiliç, a Turkish photographer born in 1979, began his career as a journalist for the local press and in 2005 became a photographer, joining AFP as a stringer two years later. He is currently the photo manager for Turkey and has carried out several foreign assignments including in Ukraine and Syria.

He is the recipient of numerous international awards. In 2014 he was named Best Wire Photographer of 2014 by TIME. In 2014 Kiliç won prizes at the Bayeux-Calvados War Correspondents awards, the North American Press Photographers Association competition and the China International Press Photo contest.

In 2015 he won first prize in the Spot News Single at the World Press Photo Awards 2015 for the image of a young woman wounded during clashes between demonstrators and security forces in March 2014. Kiliç also won third prize in the same category for the stunning image of a coalition airstrike against Islamic State group militants on the Syrian border town of Kobane in October 2014.

He has recently won the Visa d’Or for News, handed out at the “Visa Pour L’Image” Festival in Perpignan, France for his reportage about syrian refugees fleeing across the Turkish border.


More information on the competition and the UNICEF-Photo of the Year 2015 reportages.

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Renowned photographers from all over the world take part in the contest. An independent jury decides upon the winner.

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