Erdal Kınacı, a medical doctor from Mersin, has taken first prize in the National Geographic International Photography Contest 2006.
Kınacı, of Mersin's Anamur district, represented Turkey in the category of Human in the contest, in which over 30,000 photographs from 17 countries competed.
Kınacı told the Anatolia news agency that he was satisfied with the result and that it was a great honor for him to receive National Geographic's first prize.
I have been taking photographs for 25 years, both analog and digital. I like the themes of humans and nature. I like to photograph humorous moments, he said, adding: I wanted my photographs to be published in National Geographic, to which I have been a subscriber for a long time. It is a great honor for me to receive the National Geographic prize.
Trying to find the family in the photograph:
Noting that he came in first in the contest with a photograph depicting a five-member family living in a single room stone house covered with nylon in Anamur's Çarıklar district, Kınacı said: When I took the photograph six months ago, the father was mentally ill. The family members, who aren't actually from Anamur, had no relatives or jobs. They were in need of help. We provided food to the family. I visited them when I learned the results of the contest, but I learned that they had moved elsewhere. I don't know where they are now. I'm trying to track them down
I will go to the United States in September to receive my award, he added.
Kınacı, who graduated from the Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty of Istanbul
University and has been living in Mersin for 25 years, is also a founding
member of the faculty's photography association. He has been involved with
photography for 25 years and is a member of the Mersin Photography Association.
Kınacı has had four solo photography exhibitions to date.