Sipa agency’s founder

Sipa Press was founded in Paris in 1973 by Turkish photojournalist Gökşin Sipahioğlu (1926 – 2011), one of the father figures of photojournalism.

With his curiosity, audacity, uncanny anticipation of events, and exceptional flair for scoops, Gökşin Sipahioğlu was an outstanding journalist who travelled the world covering news-breaking stories.

From the 1956 war in Sinai, to Mao's China, the Cuba missile crisis, the tragedy at the Munich Olympics or the May 1968 student uprising, few major events escaped his lens.

As a chief correspondant for Hurriyet, the most prominent Turkish daily, Sipahioğlu landed in Paris in 1968 to cover the May riots. There he came to the realization that a network was sorely needed for the distribution of news photos and founded Sipa Press with American journalist Phyllis Springer.
Gökşin, as he was known, encouraged young photographers and indeed gave a good number of them their first chance, fathering a whole generation of photojournalists.

A glimpse at Gökşin Sipahioğlu’s work:

Cuba 1962 – He was the only Western photojournalist to enter in Cuba under the US embargo during the missile crisis.

Nigeria 1964 - This photo is part of a series on African countries that gained independence in the early 60s.

Djibouti 1967 – While photographing a pro-independence demonstration, he is literally targeted by French Soldiers of the Foreign Legion.

France 1968 - A policeman throws a cobblestone back at protesters on the Boulevard Saint-Michel during the May 1968 student riots in Paris.