TFSF 2019 Awards

The Photographic Arts Federation of Türkiye's board of directors have decided to establish the "TFSF Award" to recognize successful individuals and institutions in various categories annually since 2019. 

This year, six individuals and institutions worthy of the "2019 TFSF Award" were set to receive their awards at a ceremony on March 21, 2020. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the ceremony was cancelled.'' 

As the Board of Directors of TFSF, we will present awards to these individuals and organizations at the most suitable time. 

The recipients of the "2019 TFSF AWARD" have been selected by the Board of Directors for their outstanding work, and they are as follows:



Born in 1940 in Malatya, Türkiye, the recipient of the 2019 TFSF Gratitude Award graduated from the Department of Architecture at Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts. Following completion of his proficiency in art in photography, he focused on photography studies. In 1976, he assumed the presidency of the only association at that time - IFSAK - and worked to initiate national and international widespread studies. He took the first steps towards forming a federation and established a union of associations. He was a founding member of the first higher education photography unit and served as its first full-time staff member in 1978. He was the first to receive the title of professor in the main photography branch. In 1989, he founded the Photography Program at Yıldız Technical University. He also established and directed the Photography Research and Application Center at Yıldız Technical University in 1992. He was appointed as the first Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design of Yıldız Technical University in 1998. He has led the development of numerous national and international studies and published 200 articles.  He organized multiple domestic and international research projects and created nearly forty catalogs, albums, and books. He organized Türkiye's first international photography competition in 1979, and since then he has prepared numerous international and domestic works, ensured that three editions of FIAP Biennials were held in Türkiye, and facilitated joint publications. In 1987, he received the Yıldız Technical University Rectorate Gold Medal. In 1997, he was granted the Honorary EFIAP title by FIAP (Federation Internationale de l'Art Photographique) and became the first Turkish citizen to hold this prestige. Additionally, he was granted honorary memberships from Japan, Bulgaria, Austria, Pakistan, and Romania. He received the "Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques" from France for his outstanding contribution to the field of art and literature.

He has been featured in five encyclopedias.

Furthermore, he was acknowledged with the prestigious "2019 TFSF GRATITUDE AWARD" for his pioneering efforts in the organization of photography in Türkiye and the establishment of TFSF.




Mechanical engineer and marine scientist who graduated top of her Aerospace Engineering class from METU in 2003. She earned a master's degree in the same field from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005 and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and marine science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 2014. Inspired by the visual adaptations of marine animals, she designs innovative software and underwater cameras. She holds technical, scientific, and professional diving certifications, and has scuba dived and conducted underwater robotic fieldwork in locations ranging from Antarctica to Alaska, and from Papua New Guinea to Urla. In 2019, Akkaynak received a Blavatnik Young Scientist award from the New York Academy of Sciences and the Blavatnik Family Association in the field of Physics and Engineering. Currently, she is a researcher at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Florida.

Inspired by the visual adaptations of marine animals in underwater photography, she has created innovative underwater cameras and software. The Akkaynak-Treibitz Model, which she developed, has yielded successful outcomes for obtaining clearer underwater shots through Sea-Thru's AI algorithms.

We take pride in her identity as a researcher and scientist. Derya Akkaynak received the "2019 TFSF AWARD" in the SCIENTIST category for her contributions to photography technology.




In 1974, she initiated research on the history of Turkish photography. Her articles appeared in numerous local and foreign newspapers, magazines, and encyclopedias. She served as a member of various juries and delivered several conferences. Her photography work received the title of Excellence Fiap (ESFIAP) from the Fédération Internationale de L'Art Photographique (FIAP) in 1990.

From June 2004 to May 2011, she served as the Curator of Photography Exhibitions at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. She was granted Honorary Membership at IFSAK (Istanbul Photography and Cinema Amateurs Association) in 2016 and BUFSAD (Bursa Photography Art Association) in 2017. She received the Photography of the Year Award from IFSAK in 2019.

She continues her work as a consultant and freelance curator for the Nilüfer Municipality Mysia Photography Museum.

With numerous publications, exhibitions, and curation projects, she has made invaluable contributions to the study of photography history and the advancement of modern museum concepts. As a result, she was honored with the 2019 TFSF Award in the "Investigative People" category, recognizing her research, publications, and contributions to the field.




She was born in 1984 in Ankara with osteogenesis imperfecta.  Due to her condition, she was unable to attend primary school at the usual age. Her family persevered, and she was eventually admitted to school. She spent her formative years in Osmaniye before relocating to Ankara for middle school. Her talent for poetry won her several awards during her academic career. Due to health reasons, she continued her education at Open High School and later completed her studies at the Public Relations and Publicity Department of Anadolu University. She successfully completed photography art training from the Ankara Photography Artists Association (AFSAD) in 2008 and Anadolu University's "Effective Speech and Diction" training in 2011.

While in university, she worked as a reporter for both Evrensel Newspaper and Hayat Television Channel for almost five years. However, transportation issues forced her to leave that career.

Presently, she works as a communication assistant at Türk Telekom Assistt Guidance and Customer Services Call Center. She restarted her business from home, commonly referred to as a "Home Office". This initiative originated from the "I am in transportation, communication and life" project spearheaded by Binali Yıldırım, former Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs, and Communication. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highly valued this undertaking and recognized her as the "successful young person with disabilities of the year" on World Disability Day, December 3, 2011. In 2012, she was named the successful young person of the year by the 11th President, Mr. Abdullah Gül.

Besides, she has an interest in writing, photography, and painting. In 2008, she unveiled her own photography exhibition titled "Look at Life from Here." She published her poetry book "İlle de Hayat" in 2010, followed by "Love Comes to Go" in 2012, "Hunchback Pigeon" in 2015, and "I Can't Stop Myself - Senegal" in 2016. She has three poetry clips with İlkay Akkaya, whom she deeply admires from her debut poetry book.

Elif Gamze Bozo, a highly acclaimed author in the literature field, was honored as the Author of the Year for four consecutive years at the International Literature and Culture Festival from 2013 to 2016. In 2010, she was recognized for her stellar performance in the "Walking Mind Project" and received the Honorary Award from Tübitak. Furthermore, in 2013, MEMUR-SEN honored her achievements as a successful disabled individual. Since 2013, the Art Without Barriers Association has exhibited the "Do We Know Anatolia?" traveling documentary photography exhibition in various parts of Türkiye as part of the "No One Under the Comforter Movement." The exhibition, which was opened by the CHP, received an award. In 2016, the association recognized the success of the "I Can't Stop Myself-Senegal" project with a project award. In 2017, she received an award at the conference organized by the World Disability Union WDU in Russia for her project "HOME OFFICE," aimed at supporting disabled individuals' art studies. The International Call Centers Association honored her with the prestigious Golden Headset Award in two categories, surpassing 1600 Call Centers.

She currently serves as a Project Consultant for the "Engelsiz Sanat Association."

Despite being born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition commonly referred to as "Glass Bone Disease," and facing physical disabilities, she was awarded the "2019 TFSF AWARD" in the category of "THOSE WHO HOLD ON TO LIFE WITH PHOTOS" due to her exceptional productivity, diligence, and resilience in fighting to hold on to life.




He was born in 1982 in Izmir. After finishing primary and secondary school in Izmir, he completed his military service. He began working in the printing and advertising industry in Izmir in 1999. In 2007, at 25 years old, he received a diagnosis of ALS and was given a life expectancy of three years. In 2009, he launched his own poster project with the aim of raising awareness about ALS. He completed his project with the help of Tahir Ün, whom he met by chance. In 2010, he took a family self-portrait using his big toe and exhibited it in a group show featuring ALS patients to showcase his physical resilience. That same year, he began working on photography with Tahir Ün, who underscored the art form's non-physical aspect. It sparked the idea for the "1+40 Ali" project. In 2012, he collaborated with director Suha Arın on the acclaimed documentary "3 Letters" about ALS Disease. In 2014, Tahir Ün completed the "1+40 Ali" project with many events featuring Ali Var's participation for the work. The catalog of the project was also published.

In 2017, Var became the main character of Tahir Ün's award-winning short film, "Baba Dili." In addition to photography, Var writes poetry and short plays (sketches), which he personally stages and directs. These sketches are performed by ALS patient relatives who are amateur actors in various meetings.

He was honored with the "2019 TFSF AWARD" in the category of "THOSE WHO HOLD ON TO LIFE WITH PHOTOS".



ESPAS Publishing, despite the current economic conditions in Türkiye, is devoted to bringing us various artistic publications, with a focus on photography, in Turkish translation.

Their outstanding efforts in the field of publishing have earned them the "2019 TFSF AWARD" in the "Publication" category within the Corporate section.


We commend the deserving winners of the 2019 TFSF Award! The awards ceremony will take place on a suitable date after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Congratulations to all!