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Coşkun Aral was born in Siirt on May 1, 1956. He embarked upon his career as a professional press photographer in 1974, working for the newspapers Günaydın and Gün in 1976. Afterwards, he began working for the newspaper Ekonomi Politika.
He first gained international recognition when his photographs featuring the violent demonstrations that took place on May 1, 1977 appeared in Time and Newsweek through SIPA Press Agency. In the following years, he worked as the Turkish correspondent of SIPA while also working as a free-lance photographer for Turk Haberler Ajansı (Turkish News Agency) and the newspapers Milliyet and Hürriyet.
In 1980, he undertook his first assignment outside of Turkey from SIPA. His photographic work on the Gdansk Strike in Poland and the Gulf War reinforced his international reputation. Coşkun Aral’s photographs of the military coup of 12th September 1980 and of the events leading up to it appeared in hundreds of international publications and featured the covers of Newsweek and L’Express.
His interview with the hijackers of an aircraft on October 14 of the same year created a stir in press circles and received awards in both Turkey and abroad. Since 1980, Coşkun Aral has been working actively as a war correspondent, photographing various conflicts from around the world.
His images from Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Chad and the Far-East have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Paris Match, Stern and Epoca, as well as other magazines. In 1986, he began working as a television war correspondent for the program 32nd Day, and produced a TV news documentary program called Haberci (The Reporter).
After that year, his documentary program “Haberci”, was broadcast with the name of “Go East Go West” in Germany, on the channel ST1. In Turkey, “Haberci” started broadcasting in 1995 on the channel ATV, continued for more than 11 years, passing the channels NTV, Show TV and TRT respectively.
With the footage of this program, a DVD series has been prepared and sold out throughout Europe, entitled “Global Vision.” In 2003, he published his second book, including his war memories all around the world, “Ölümün Yakasına İliştirilmiş Hayatlar” (Lives Attached to Lapel of Death).
Coskun Aral, together with his team, successfully founded Turkey’s first and only documentary channel IZTV, which broadcast on Digiturk (Digital Broadcast Platform). In 2006 the documentary channel IZTV, won a special mention from HotBird Awards, and it continues to be appreciated in Turkey with various awards and honours.
In 2007, the Best Documentary Channel Award came from the same HotBird TV Awards. Coşkun Aral attended the 3rd Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival as the member of the Jury in April 2007. IZ TV won a special mention from HotBird Awards in 2009, too. Coskun Aral’s short film called “First Europeans” was chosen as one of the participants of the Aljazeera Documentary Film Festival in 2010.
Coşkun Aral actively produces documentaries that are broadcast on IZTV. His two serials, “Coşkun Aral’ın Türkiye Notları” (Coşkun Aral’s Notes from Turkey) and “Coşkun Aral’ın Dünya Güncesi” (Coşkun Aral’s Diary of the Planet) are on IZTV since March 2008. In 2010, he’s started “Haberci”(Reporter), the well-known series on IZ TV. Also his new web site “haberci.com” has taken considerable steps in web publishing, and will take further actions for the future projects of IPTV.
Coşkun Aral’s works have taken place in various exhibitions around the world. New York’s Time Life Gallery (1983), Fnac in Paris (1983), National Reassurance in Istanbul (1996) are some of the places where his exhibitions were held.
In 1983, he also prepared an album entitled Peace in Galilee, in collaboration with war photographers including Reza and Yan Morvan of National Geographic. Peace in Galilee was published by Edition de Minuit in France and was also published in Germany and Algeria. In 1988, with the master of photography Ara Güler, Coşkun Aral had exhibitions of war photographs in Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
Coşkun Aral contributed to War Torn, a book published by Pantheon in New York, describing the careers and works of thirty-one famous war photographers. Another book featured his photographs entitled Turkey: A Thousand Mile Adventure was published in Turkey, in 1998. Two other books that include his photographs, War:
The Dangerous Light and The Most Dangerous Places In the World with Robert Y. Pelton, were published in 1995 by Fielding Worldwide in USA.
In 2000, Coşkun Aral published his personal album; Sozun Bittigi Yer (Where Words Are Meaningless) which reflects his experience as a war photographer who covered nearly all of the wars and conflicts of the world that have taken place since 1980. Photographs taken from this album exhibited in Istanbul (August 2000) and in Vienna, Austria (2001). One of his photos has been exhibited in Paris in 2008 summer at Luxembourg Gardens, as “Photos that marked the last 30 years” by Le Figaro Magazine. In 2012, he’s been bestowed by the Middle East Technical University in accordance with the decision of the University Senate with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his leading role in the development of his profession, exemplary character, accomplishments in the national and international spheres and contributions to his country.
Coşkun Aral is currently producing national and international documentaries, writing for magazines and newspapers.
- “Haberci” (The Reporter) – 190 episodes of documentary series
- “Global Vision” and “Go East Go West” – Production of documentaries broadcast in Germany and Worldwide
- “Savaşın Tanıkları” (War Witnesses) 6 episodes of documentary series
- “Abidin Dino Portresi” (Portrait of Abidin Dino) – biographic documentary
- “Pamir’den Ulupamir’e Özgürlüğün Nal Sesleri (Freedom’s Horse Steps from Pamir to Ulupamir) – documentary film
- “Anadolu Aslanı: Kangal” (Kangal: Lion of Anatolia) – documentary film
- “Sonsuz Mavilikler Ülkesi Bodrum” (Bodrum: Land of Infinite Turquoise) – documentary film
- “Ara Güler” (Portrait of a master of photography) –documentary film
- “Hava-Su-Toprak” (Air-Water-Earth)- documentary film
- “G4 Challenge” –(expedition of G4 Challenge) – documentary film
- “360” (Expedition of VW Touareg in America) – documentary film
- “Coşkun Aral’ın Türkiye Notları” (Coşkun Aral’s Notes from Turkey) – 7 episodes of 40 min.
- “Coşkun Aral’ın Dünya Güncesi” (Coşkun Aral’s Diary of the Planet) – 7 episodes of 40 min.
- “Deniz’in Gözünden” (From the view of Deniz, a 3 year old girl)-documentary film for kids of 2 episodes
- “Dünyanın 99 Hali” (The 99 Faces of The Earth) – 99 episodes of 10 min.
- “Yeryüzü Güncesi” (The Journal of The World) – 26 episodes of 30 min.
- “Darülaceze : Şefkat Yuvası” (Darulaceze : A 114 Year-old Project of Unique Social Responsibility) – documentary film
- “Haberci”, 13 episodes of 30 min., TRT TURK
- Country Guide, 52 episodes of 4 min., TRT TURK
- 1996 Magazine Journalists’ Association “Award of Success”
- 1996 Broadcasting Journalists, “Cengiz Polatkan Award”
- 1997 Istanbul University, Faculty of Communications, “Best Documentary Award”
- 1998 Contemporary Journalists’ Association “Award for the Most Successful TV Program”
- 1998 Marmara University, Faculty of Communications, “Best Documentary Award”
- 1998 Sedat Simavi Awards, “Best Documentary Award”
- 1999 Sedat Simavi Awards, “Best Documentary Award”
- 1999 Marmara University, Faculty of Communications, “Best Documentary Award”
- 1999 Istanbul University, Faculty of Communications, “Best Documentary Award”
- 2000 Sedat Simavi Awards, “Best Documentary Award”
- 2000 National Channel Communication Awards, “Best Documentary Award”
- 2001 Gazi University, Faculty of Communications, “Best TV Program Respecting Children’s Rights”
- 2005 Contemporary Journalists’ Association, best journalist, “Award of Mahmut Tali Öngören”
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