Turkish photographer Burhan Ozbilici speaks during an interview in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Feb. 13, 2017. Ozbilici won the World Press Photo 2017 contest with his picture showing the assassination of the Russian ambassador on December 19, 2016, the World Press Photo foundation in Amsterdam announced on Monday. (Xinhua/Sylvia Lederer)
THE HAGUE, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Turkish photographer Burhan Ozbilici won the World Press Photo 2017 contest with his picture showing the assassination of the Russian ambassador on December 19, 2016, the World Press Photo foundation in Amsterdam announced on Monday.
On the picture, named An Assassination in Turkey, the off-duty police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas shouts after shooting Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey. The killer wounded three other people before being killed by officers in a shootout.
"Suddenly I heard a gunshot," Associated Press photographer Ozbilici reacted in a statement. "It was very loud. People were running away in panic, and the ambassador's body was lying on the ground. The gunman raised his left hand, pointed his finger and shouted twice, 'Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar'".
"I remember thinking: 'I might be killed or injured, but the Russian ambassador has been shot.' This is very big news, so as a journalist it is my responsibility to stand and do my work," he added.
Mary F. Calvert, member of the jury, said that the image epitomizes the definition of what the World Press Photo of the Year means.
"Every time it came on the screen you almost had to move back because it's such an explosive image," she said. "It was a very difficult decision, but in the end we felt that the picture of the Year was an explosive image that really spoke to the hatred of our times."
The contest attracted a total of 80,408 images, from 5,034 photographers from 125 countries, and the jury of the 60th annual World Press Photo Contest gave prizes in eight categories to 45 photographers from 25 countries. Ozbilici also won the category Spot News, Stories with his series of pictures on the Assassination.
Chinese photographer Wang Tiejun finished second in the category Daily Life, singles, with her picture Sweat Makes Champions.
On the picture, four students of a gymnastics school in Xuzhou, China, do toe-pressure training for 30 minutes in the afternoon.
Paula Bronstein from the United States won this category with The Silent Victims of a Forgotten War.