"For me, there is something more important than good or bad photography. It’s about the quality of your character, it’s about your soul. I believe photography follows this and is already a reflection of who you are"
- Emin Özmen
Emin Özmen studied physics at 19 Mayis University in Samsun, before moving on to photographic studies in the Fine Arts Faculty at Marmara University of Istanbul.
In 2008, he published two photobooks, “Humans of Anatolia” and “Microcredit Stories in Turkey”, a collection of stories on women who were able to access a microcredit in Turkey.
That same year, he obtained a degree in Media Photography and Documentary (photography) at the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria. In 2011, his work on famine in East Africa was published in a book and he worked on the disaster of Tohoku Earthquake and economic protests in Greece.
The following year, he started covering the Syrian civil war and ISIS crises in Iraq, which he continues to document, and he covered Mosul operations in 2016.
Since 2012, he has been working on his long-term project “Limbo ” the populations uprooted by the spiral of conflicts. He has traveled many times to Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Italy and France to meet people who were forced into becoming “refugees”.
In 2013, he started to document the complex situation of Kurds in Turkey. It’s the first part of long-term project that he has started with the hidden conflict in Turkey’s southeastern (“Turkey’s Hidden war”).
He is also focusing on Turkey’s current issues like Syrian refugees life (child labor, daily life in the Syrian neighborhoods of different cities) and the daily life in the new Erdogan’s Turkey.
His work has been published by TIME magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Le Monde magazine M, Paris Match, Newsweek, among others. One of his pictures was selected by TIME as their Top 10 Photographs of the Year 2013.
Selection of awards:
Two World Press Photo awards (“Spot News, second prize singles” in 2013 and “Multimedia Long Feature, first prize” in 2014 for my video-documentary “Witnessing Gezi”)
“Public Prize” of The Bayeux Calvados awards for war correspondents in 2014.
2015 Magnum Photos Fund to complete the long-term project about the refugee crisis (Limbo).
In 2016, he was member of the jury of 2016 World Press Photo Multimedia contest.
Emin became a Magnum nominee in 2017.
He currently lives in Istanbul.