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.
MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS
A Palestinian woman with her children lift up their hands as they walk towards an Israeli army armoured personnel carrier advancing to the center of Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, Wednesday April 17, 2002. Palestinians have buried at least 27 of the Jenin dead, most of them in a yard outside the hospital, but the death toll isn't known. The ongoing Israeli military, named "Defensive Shield" started after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 20 people during a Jewish Passover dinner in the Israeli town of Netanya (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. The Pakistani government's official death toll remained at slightly over 20,000 people, but a senior army official who is close to the rescue operations, said that 'according to our assessment, the death toll is between 35,000 to 40,000 people.' (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
LEBANON ISRAEL MIDEAST QANA FUNERAL
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. An Israeli airstrike Sunday, July 30, 2006, killed 29 Lebanese, mostly women and children, when it leveled a building where they had taken shelter. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
AFGHANISTAN EID AL ADHA
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. Afghans gather at the homes of friends and relatives to celebrate Eid al Adha, with many welcoming the new freedom that came with the fall of the Taliban regime but others concerned about the fragility of their new government. (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. Thousands of protesters flowed out of mosques on Friday in Muslim Brotherhood-led rallies against the military-backed government a day after a car bomb in the Egyptian capital marked a substantial escalation in Egypt’s violent turmoil. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Mideast Travel Visiting Egypt in Crisis
In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 photo, a view of the historical site of the Giza Pyramids, near Cairo, Egypt. Years ago, before the 2011 revolution that started Egypt's political roller coaster tourists flocked the area. Now, after a summer of coup, protests and massacres, the flocks have flown to other spots, abandoning such draws as the markets, Egyptian Museum, the ancient ruins of Luxor farther down the Nile and, of course, the pyramids of Giza. In mid-August, arrivals at Egyptian airports dropped by more than 40 percent after the military brutally cleared two sit-in camps protesting the July ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood. That has devastated the country's all-important tourism industry, which makes up more than a tenth of all economic activity. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Mideast Israel Palestinians
A Palestinian girl cries as she runs barefoot while fleeing Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Tens of people were killed in Shijaiyah and many more bodies were believed buried under the rubble of homes, health officials said. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Mideast Israel Palestinians
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)
Mideast Israel Palestinians
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)
Mideast Israel Palestinians
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)
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. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. The onslaught has forced more than 200,000 people to flee across the border into Turkey. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (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. The three fighters were killed during the last few days battling Islamic State fighters in the Kurdish Syrian town of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab,located on the border with Turkey. They were buried without their families present; in the chaos of war, since mid-September, hundreds of thousands of Kurds have become refugees, and contacting the families of those killed is not always possible. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
PAKISTAN SOUTH ASIA QUAKE
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)
PAKISTAN SOUTH ASIA QUAKE
A girl, wounded in Saturday's earthquake and waiting to be airlifted to capital Islamabad for further tratment, 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. The death toll was believed to be more than 35,000, and tens of thousands were injured. (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. The quake was felt across a wide swath of South Asia from central Afghanistan to western Bangladesh. It swayed buildings in the capitals of three nations, with the damage spanning at least 250 miles from Jalalabad in Afghanistan to Srinagar in northern Indian territory. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Britain Royals Coronation
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. This summer marks the 60th anniversary the Coronation and a special exhibition at Buckingham Palace will bring together an array of the dress, uniform and robes worn on that occasion. Works of art, paintings and objects used on the day, will also be on display. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Britain Energy Prices Protest
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. Hundreds of people from protest groups including UK Uncut and Fuel Poverty Action demonstrated against the rising energy prices.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Britain Lawyers Protest
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. The protest coincides with a nationwide demonstration of non-attendance of lawyers which will affect hundreds of cases across the country. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
MIDEAST PALESTINIANS ISRAEL
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. Facing a self-imposed deadline to end violence within 48 hours, Israelis and Palestinians sought to ease tensions Thursday, but fresh gunfights threatened to undermine the U.S.-brokered accord. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS
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)
Mideast Egypt Protest
An Egyptian anti-government activist kisses a riot police officer following clashes in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. Egyptian activists protested for a fourth day as social networking sites called for a mass rally in the capital Cairo after Friday prayers, keeping up the momentum of the country's largest anti-government protests in years.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Egyptian Mahmoud Tariq, his face painted with the colours 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. A sense of normalcy began to return to the capital of some 18 million people, which has been largely closed since chaos erupted shortly after the protests began on Jan. 25. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Mideast Egypt Protest
An Egyptian protester flashes the V-sign as anti-riot policemen use water canon against protesters in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. Egyptian anti-government activists clashed with police for a second day Wednesday in defiance of an official ban on any protests but beefed up police forces on the streets quickly moved in and used tear gas and beatings to disperse demonstrations. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
LEBANON ISRAEL MIDEAST
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. The family of five live now on a room that remained intact on the ground flor of the former 2-story building. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Surrounded by tear gas, riot police officers confront rioting youths, during clashes in central Athens, Saturday Dec. 13, 2008. Greek youths hurled rocks and broken paving stones at riot police who were responding with volleys of tear gas in the seventh straight day of unrest over the fatal police shooting of a teenager last Saturday night. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Greece Financial Crisis
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, on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. A 24-hour strike by Greece's largest labor unions is set to cripple public services Wednesday, as the Socialist government begins a legislative battle to push through last-ditch cost cutting reforms that will exceed its own term in office.Demonstrators had camped outside parliament since May 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
APTOPIX MIDEAST ISRAEL SHARON
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. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underwent emergency surgery Friday after a brain scan revealed a rise in intracranial pressure and further bleeding in his brain, and outside experts said the prime minister's prognosis was not good. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Mideast Islamic State Kobani
FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 file 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. For a force that has built its reputation on projecting an aura of momentum and invincibility, the prolonged stalemate in Kobani is a setback for Islamic State militants with potential implications in terms of recruitment and support. Nearly two months after it launched its lightning assault on the small Kurdish town, the group is bogged down with an increasingly entrenched and costly battle in which hundreds of its fighters have been killed and a good deal of its military apparatus destroyed. (AP Photo, Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
APTOPIX LEBANON ISRAEL MIDEAST FIGHTING MASS GRAVE
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. With a few mourners at hand, 31 victims of Israel's two-week long bombardment were buried in a mass grave in this Lebanese city. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Aptopix Mideast Palestinians Israel
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 , before dawn Monday. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
APTOPIX Mideast Tunisia Libya
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. The camp houses about 5,000 people, trying to handle the large numbers of expatriates crossing the border into Tunisia, carrying their belongings and horrific memories of the violence tearing apart Moammar Gadhafi's Libya. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
APTOPIX Mideast Israel Palestinians
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 waron July 8, and she is undergoing treatment for vomiting, diarrhea and fever.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
APTOPIX Greece Golden Dawn
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. The extreme right, anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party, which has Nazi roots, appears headed for a third-place finish in last Sunday's election. Its showing comes despite the fact that the party's leader and most of its lawmakers are behind bars, facing charges of participating in a "criminal organization" accused of murders, brutal attacks on migrants and others, extortion and arson. (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. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Britain Afghanistan Commemoration
An official exits St Paulís 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)
APTOPIX Britain Art Light Show
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. The exhibition 'Light Show' featuring 25 illuminated installations and sculptures by artists from the 1960's to the present, will run from Jan. 30, 2013 to April 28, 2013. (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. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Turkey Syria Refugees
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. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. The onslaught has forced more than 200,000 people to flee across the border into Turkey. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
See more photos by Lefteris Pitarakis
Text from the AP news story, AP names Lefteris Pitarakis chief photographer for Turkey.
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