By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – One of Serbia's prominent water polo players has voted in a photography contest hosted by Anadolu Agency.
Nikola Radjen, who currently plays for AEK Water Polo Club Greece voted in three categories of the competition — news, life and sports — taken by Anadolu Agency's photojournalists.
After viewing the photographs, Radjen said he would like to see images from the water polo world in the next contest.
Radjen voted for Jason Zenda's “Outbreak spreading from China” in the news category.
"I chose this photo because it shows exactly that 2020 is marked by the coronavirus, unfortunately," he said, adding that the pandemic showed how the whole world can stop and how quickly or not we can get used to it in a given situation. "I hope that this will pass as soon as possible, but the photo I am voting for definitely marked this year, 2020.”
The world champion put his support behind “Football on the ice-covered lake” by Huseyin Yildiz in the sports category.
"I liked the ambiance and the whole story around this photo. Since it is a lake in Turkey that is frozen, and there is snow on the frozen lake and in principle, such a lake is used for skating or hockey. It is made to play football here, which is very interesting, so I am voting for this photo because it is interesting to me because of that small contradiction," said Radjen.
In the life category, Radjen voted for “The Happiness of Baby Muhammad” by Muhammad Said because he said the image speaks more than 1,000 words.
"You can see what it means to have a family and support for this young child who had certain impossibilities for normal life and development. I think that life has no price and that every upbringing should go in the best possible way, as far as the situation allows," said Radjen.
He recalled beautiful private and professional memories on visits to Turkey.
"I had the opportunity to visit Turkey several times to go on vacation with my family there as well as to participate in major events in Turkey, such as the Universiade in Izmir, where we won a gold medal. I am glad to have fond memories as well of Istanbul. I would recommend Turkey to everyone as a holiday destination because the people there are very pleasant, very kind and hospitable, " he said.
The 35-year-old athlete won two bronze medals in the Olympics; gold and silver medals in the World Championships; two gold, one silver and one bronze in the European Championships and various gold medals at the FINA World League and local Mediterranean Games as well as at Universiade.
– Anadolu Agency's high profile international photo contest
Turkey's premier news outlet held its first Photo of the Year contest in 2012.
Seventy-six images were selected from more than 750,000 entries this year from various parts of the world, including Syria, Palestine, Russia, China and Azerbaijan.
Photos have been selected in the three categories from works by Anadolu Agency photojournalists and correspondents who have had an impact on the Turkish and world agendas.
The images were shortlisted by Anadolu Agency's photo editors and are frequently used in the world’s leading media outlets.
The final images were chosen with 31 entries from the news category, 30 in life and sports has 15.
The photos have Turkish and English captions.
Health care workers fighting on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic were first to vote.
Voters from different professions, including students, athletes and politicians have already chosen their favorite images in Turkey.
Last year, nearly 280,000 people took part in the vote.
This year's voting will continue through Dec. 31 at photovideorate.aa.com.tr.