Lefteris Pitarakis, an Associated Press photojournalist based in London, has been named AP’s chief photographer for Turkey, based in Istanbul.
The appointment was announced Tuesday by Tony Hicks, AP’s regional photo editor for Europe and Africa.
“Turkey is a country with a dynamic breaking news agenda, top level sports and rich historical traditions. In Lefteris Pitarakis, AP has an experienced, creative and hard-working photographer with all the attributes needed to make his assignment there a massive success,” Hicks said.
Pitarakis, 40, started work with the AP as a freelance photographer in 1998 and covered the Balkans region with assignments in Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo, as well as Cyprus. From 2000 to 2005 he was based in the Middle East, mainly covering the Palestinian uprising against Israel. Later, he became deputy photo editor for Israel and the Palestinian territories, and traveled throughout the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and South Asia. He also covered the aftermath of the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Since 2005, Pitarakis has been based in London while continuing to travel frequently. He covered three wars in the Gaza Strip, and his work from the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon was included in a team entry that became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
In his latest assignment, he covered the fighting between Islamic State militants and Kurdish fighters for the Syrian city of Kobani.
Pitarakis also shoots video for AP and trains AP photographers on shooting video, as well as lecturing frequently about ethics in photojournalism, a topic he has championed in universities and photography institutions.
He graduated from Middlesex University with a degree in photography and holds a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Westminster.
Below is a selection of photos by Pitarakis.
Click on any image to launch the gallery.
A mourner holds a Kurdish flag as he attends the funeral of four female Kurdish fighters, killed in the fighting with the militants of the Islamic State group in Kobani, Syria, at a cemetery in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
In this Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 photo, thick smoke and flames from an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition rise in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Mourners carry the coffin with the body of female Kurdish fighter Hanim Dabaan, 20, killed in the fighting with the militants of the Islamic State group in Kobani, Syria, during the funeral of three fighters, at a cemetery in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Syrian Kurdish refugee peers out of her family tent in a refugee camp in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Turkish Kurds in the outskirts of Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, offer their Friday prayers as they gather to support Syrian Kurds over the border in nearby Kobani, Syria, where fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group intensified, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Syrian Kurdish refugees who fled fighting in Kobani, Syria, go about at a refugee camp in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Kurdish boy places parts of a wreath on the grave of his loved one, a Kurdish fighter, name not given, who was killed in the fighting with the militants of the Islamic State group in Kobani, Syria, and was buried at a cemetery in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Supporters of Greece’s extreme right party Golden Dawn hold flares during a rally to commemorate a 1996 incident which cost the lives of three Greek navy officers and brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war, in Athens on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A masked protester walks in tear gas next to a statue outside of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, during a rally against plans for new austerity measures, Wednesday, June 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Surrounded by tear gas, riot police officers confront rioting youths, during clashes in central Athens, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An Orthodox Jewish youth prays at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, located in east Jerusalem’s Old City, before the Jewish Shabbat, Friday, Jan. 6, 2006. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian boy, wounded in an Israeli strike at a house in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, sits on the floor as he waits to be treated at the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital, in Beit Lahiya, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian mourner cries in a house after the bodies of Mousa Abu Muamer, 56, and his son Saddam, 27, who were killed in an overnight Israeli missile strike at their house in the outskirts of the town of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, were brought in during their funeral procession, Monday, July 14, 2014. Saddam’s wife Hanadi, 27, was also killed in the attack. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Eighteen month-old Palestinian Diala al-Attar sleeps under a blanket to protect her from flies in a classroom at a U.N. school where her family is taking refuge during the war, in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. Diala had been sick for five days, diagnosed with a lung infection due to poor living conditions, according to the family that had slept in the school from the start of the war on July 8. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A mourner reads from the Quran, Islam’s holy book, next to the body of Palestinian militant Ibrahim Al-Wahidi, 25, at a Gaza City mosque, prior to his funeral procession, Monday, June 7, 2010. Al-Wahidi along with 3 other comrades in diver suits from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the remnants of a violent offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, were killed by Israeli forces in the waters off Gaza. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
The shadow of a Palestinian using his slingshot to hurl a stone is cast upon a barricade during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, Nov. 13, 2000. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian youth is seen in front of billowing black smoke from a burning barricade in the outskirts of the West Bank village of Beit-Ymar near Hebron, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2000, following the funeral procession of Ibrahim Allame, 25, who was killed during clashes with Israeli soldiers. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinian children, wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, cry as they lay on the floor at the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, Thursday, July 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian woman with her children lift up their hands as they walk towards an Israeli army armored personnel carrier advancing to the center of Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, Wednesday, April 17, 2002. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian girl cries as she runs barefoot while fleeing Gaza City’s Shijaiyah neighborhood, Sunday, July 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A lawyer in his full court dress of wig and gown, participates in a rally to protest against legal aid cuts, across from the Houses of Parliament in central London, Friday, March 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An official exits St. Paul’s Cathedral, in central London, following a service of commemoration to pay tribute to members of the British armed forces past and present who served on operations in Afghanistan, Friday, March 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A protester, name not given, demonstrates against rising energy prices outside the headquarters of energy provider Npower in London’s City financial district, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Hayward Gallery employee poses for photographers inside artist Anthony McCall’s installation entitled ‘You and I, Horizontal’ at the gallery in London, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
The outfit worn by then two-year-old Princess Anne at Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation on June 2, 1953, is seen during a photo-op at the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace in central London, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 photo, a view of the historical site of the Giza Pyramids, near Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An Egyptian anti-government activist kisses a riot police officer following clashes in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An Egyptian protester flashes the V-sign as anti-riot policemen use water canon against protesters in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A woman chants slogans from her window in support of Muslim Brotherhood protesters, not seen, marching in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Egyptian Mahmoud Tariq, his face painted with the colors of the Egyptian flag stands near a barricade protecting the group of anti-government protesters from possible attacks by pro-government protesters in Tahrir square, the center of anti-government demonstrations, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A man, who already had spent 3 days in rain and cold sheltering on the grounds of the sports stadium at the northern Pakistani town of Muzaffarabad, carries his baby as he runs to join a queue for food distribution, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Pakistani wounded in the Oct. 8 earthquake, lays in a tent at a temporary military clinic in the town of Bagh, in Pakistani Kashmir, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Residents of the northern Pakistani town of Muzzafarabad, one of the towns that were hit by Saturday’s earthquake, try to collect oranges given as aid by charities, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A girl, wounded in an earthquake and waiting to be airlifted to capital Islamabad for further treatment, weeps as she tries to avoid dust from a arriving helicopter at an army base in the northern Pakistani town of Muzaffarabad, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
People watch as a Lebanese mourner bursts into tears during a mass funeral procession for twenty nine Lebanese victims of a July 30 Israeli forces’ attack, in the southern village of Qana, Lebanon, Friday Aug. 18, 2006. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
The smallest of the 31 simple plywood coffins, center, containing one-day-old girl Sawsan Tajeldin, can be seen as a bulldozer pours soil to bury Lebanese victims in a mass grave at the southern port city of Tyre, Lebanon, Saturday, July 29, 2006. Tajeldin was killed along with her mother, name not available, when the car in which they were fleeing from the nearby village of Bazouriyeh was hit by an Israeli warplane missile strike. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A member of the extended Lebanese family of Srour, first name not given, inspects the damage at the family house destroyed during the month-long Israeli forces’ offensive, in the southern border village of Aita al-Shaab, Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 21, 2006. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Displaced people play soccer backdropped by their refugee camp, after fleeing from unrest in Libya, at the Tunisia-Libyan border, in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia, Thursday, March 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Afghan children enjoy a swing in a makeshift playground for the occasion of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha in Kabul, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2002. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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