Artwork created by jailed journalist Yazıcı receives SND Awards of Excellence

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Artwork created by journalist Fevzi Yazıcı in his prison cell in Turkey has won a pair of Awards of Excellence from the Society for News Design’s (SND) 42nd Best of Print News Design Creative Competition, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported.

Yazıcı, the former design director of the now-closed Zaman daily, was arrested shortly after a coup attempt in July 2016 as part of a purge of media organizations and has been behind bars since August 2016.

His artwork was featured across a three-page spread titled “Art of Darkness” published in The Washington Post in May 2020.

“The award-winning entries feature several of his illustrations drawn in his dimly lit cell,” said the SND in its press release, adding that Sunday, April 18 “marked his 1,216th day in solitary confinement.”

Yazıcı has earned more than 100 awards for his newspaper layouts and designs since 2003.

“He was an SND World’s Best-Designed judge in 2015 and for 10 years co-hosted a world-class design conference in Istanbul — +1T Design Days,” SND said.

Forty works of art by Yazıcı, created mostly in prison, were displayed at the Yeh Art Gallery in New York last year. The exhibition included drawings, typographies and notes produced before and during his incarceration in İstanbul.

Yazıcı stood trial on terrorism and coup charges due to the daily’s affiliation with the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016. The movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, strongly denies any involvement in the failed coup.

Along with five other journalists, he was given an aggravated life sentence in February 2018 on charges of attempting to overturn the constitutional order.

At the end of a retrial in November 2019 after the Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the verdicts given the six journalists by a lower court, Yazıcı was sentenced to 11 years, three months in prison on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

The SND is an international organization for news media professionals and visual communicators who create print, web, mobile publications and products.

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