Murat Yazar (born in 1978) is a Kurdish photographer from Eastern Turkey and he studied Tourism at Harran University in Turkey. In 2006, he worked with Turkey’s leading photographers at Fototrek Photography Center in Istanbul. He has been working as a freelance photographer since 2008. Yazar has created photo projects in his home country, in the Middle East, Armenia, Georgia, Iran and Europe. Murat crossed Anatolia into Georgia by walking 1200 km as part of the Out of Eden Walk project.


When we reflect on our history, it becomes evident that human migration has been a recurrent theme. Often driven by factors such as war, climate change, and economic instability, mobility has remained a constant in the human experience. The current era is marked by an unprecedented level of human movement. In the face of conflict and harsh economic realities, individuals are compelled to leave their homelands in search of better opportunities.

The aftermath of the Syrian war in 2012 saw a surge in refugees crossing into Turkey. Over the ensuing years, many of these refugees sought passage from Turkey to Europe, driven by the hope for a more secure future. The years 2015 and 2016 witnessed a significant influx of refugees attempting to reach Europe, predominantly originating from Syria, yet also hailing from regions such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

It is within this context that I embarked on a journey to document the arduous paths taken by these individuals, capturing their struggles from the Iran-Turkey border all the way to Europe.

Exhibitions Include:

Shadows of Kurdistan – A photographic research of a cultural identity;

  • Corto Dorico Film Festival, Italy in 2019 / Babel Film Festival, Italy in 2019 / Zoom Photo Festival Saguenay, Canada in 2018 / Paris Kurdish İnstitute, France in 2021 / Barcelona Human Rights International Photo Festival in 2023

Saturday Mothers;

Cegerxwin Cultural Center, Diyarbakir in 2012

Ararat-After The Flood:

  • Visa pour l’Image Perpignan, France in 2022(screening show )
  • Zoom Photo Festival, Canada in 2023

We are Refugees;

  • BarrObjektif Festival, France in 2015 / • Centre Cívic Can Basté, Spain in 2014

A walk through Anatolia:

  • BarrObjektif Festival, France in 2016 in

Face of Mesopotamia;

  • Sprachenatelier Berlin, Germany in 2011

Publications Include:

  • National Geographic Magazine / • Now Magazine, Canada / • IZ Magazine, Turkey / • Le Courrier, Swiss / • The New York Times, US / • Artribune magazine, Italy / • Travel Globe Magazine, Italy / • Saiten Magazine, Swissn

Grants and Awards Include:

  • Shadows of Kurdistan “Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente” (ISMEO) e Istituto Kurdo di Roma

Collaboration project with Rochester and Cornell universities: After curfew Silvan and Sur in Turkey.

  • MonoVisions Black & White Photography Awards Winner 2019
  • Sony World Photography Awards shortlist winner in 2020
  • The Grand Prize winner of 2020 Banff Mountain Photo Essay Competition in 2020

PX3 Paris 2020 Winner – Prize Silver in Book/Documentary

Siena International Photo Award 2020 / Prize Honorable mention

  • 2022 W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant Finalist

Published Book:

  • Shadows of Kurdistan. A photographic research of a cultural identity