Göksin Sipahioğlu was born in Izmir in 1926. After finishing Saint Joseph High School in Istanbul, he founded Kadıköy Sport Club (nowadays Efes Pilsen Basketball Team) and played basketball. He then studied journalism at Istanbul University. Sipahioğlu started working as a sport writer at the Istanbul Express newspaper. His writing under the nickname of “Sait Ceylan” captured reader’s attention. He became a section editor soon. In 1956, he took photographs of injured Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Desert during the war of Israel and Egypt. It became his first outstanding news. In 1957, Sipahioğlu published Yeni Gazete newspaper. His interest in analyzing events and projecting himself into the future in order to imagine their consequences led him to found a political journal. In the same year he became a director at Vatan newspaper. Sipahioğlu set up the early press system and it became one of his great contributions to Turkish journalism. After working as a journalist of Vatan newspaper, he started working as a freelance journalist.
Sipahioğlu was the first to enter communist Albania and brought back rare pictures, which were taken in Tiran. In 1961, he was the only Western reporter in Havana who was not under arrest or police surveillance during the period of the Cuban Missile Crisis. His reportage was distributed by AP and made the front page of 45 American daily newspapers. He worked for Hürriyet newspaper and made reportages in over 80 countries in 4 years. Sipahioğlu was the first journalist who got the visa to go to China before the Cultural Revolution. In 1966, he accepted an offer of Erol Simavi and went to Paris as a head clerk of Hürriyet newspaper. As a photographer, his work was distributed by such agencies as Black Star, Dalmas, Reporters Associés and Gamma in the 1960’s. Based in Paris, Sipahioğlu had a front-row seat to cover the student-worker riots of May 1968; his photos were published in “les Turblions” by Jean Bertolino (Editions Stock, 1969). In 1969, Sipahioğlu started working with Gamma Agency. In the same year, he founded SIPA Press unofficially with Kosta Daponte and an American journalist Phyllis Springer with whom he later married. In 1973, SIPA Press was founded officially and it became one of the world’s largest photo-press agencies in a short time. Sipahioglu was the founder and the director until December 2003. He sold the agency in 2001 to Sud Communications.
In 1994, Sipahioglu received a medal of a Chevalier of France′s Order of Arts and Letters and of an Officer of France′s Order of Arts and Letters in 2003. He was awarded a medal by the Republic of Turkey for his distinguished works abroad. In 2006, he received a medal of Légion d’Honneur. Sipahioglu was one of the outstanding figures of photo-journalism, to which he was given some of its brightest chapters. Göksin Sipahioğlu passed away in Paris in 2011.
Reference: wikipedia.org; egodesign.ca; thy.com