Friday, January 26, 2007

Goksin Sipahioglu, a knight of the Légion d'honneur

PDN Online is running the story of how Turkish photographer Goksin Sipahioglu, the founder of the Sipa Press photo agency, was awarded one of France's highest honors on Friday.

He was recently the subject of a solo retrospective at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art called "Right Place Right Time."

Sipahioglu was born in Turkey in 1926. He studied at the University of Istanbul and went on to work as a newspaper reporter and editor in Turkey. He came to France in 1966 to work as the Paris correspondent for a Turkish newspaper.

Sipahioglu founded Sipa Press in France in 1969 with American journalist Phyllis Springer, his future wife. Sipa Press nurtured many beginning photojournalists and grew to rival larger agencies Gamma and Sygma.

Sipa, now part of French media company Sud Communication, employs more than 100 people in its Paris office and has 25 million images in its archive, according to the company's Web site.

The Légion d'honneur, an order established by Napoleon in 1802, recognizes outstanding distinction in fields such as the military, government, arts, teaching and industry.

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