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“A life dedicated to sports and integrity“: In loving memory of former AIPS President Togay Bayatlı, who left us at 85 years

Togay Bayatlı, born on 20 September 1938, in the Bor district of Niğde, was a multifaceted personality whose contributions spanned across sports journalism, administration, and international sports diplomacy.

He proudly served as AIPS President from 1993 until 2005. His illustrious journey began with his education at Tarsus American College, followed by earning his degree from Istanbul University Faculty of Economics.

During his formative years at university, Bayatlı emerged as a leader, serving as the President of AIESEC (International Association of Economics and Commercial Sciences Students) and gaining recognition as a Member of the International Advisory Board.


Bayatlı’s early passion for football led him to play for İstanbulspor and Yeşildirek teams. However, his sporting career was cut short due to an injury.

Undeterred, he transitioned seamlessly into sports journalism, embarking on a remarkable career that spanned over five decades.

Beginning in 1958, he contributed significantly to Turkey’s leading newspapers, notably serving as a sports writer for Milliyet Newspaper for many years.

Bayatlı, who served as the Secretary General of the Turkish National Olympic Committee (TOC) for 14 years, starting from 1984, was unanimously elected as the President of TOC by the Board of Directors on 12 August 2003, following the death of Mr. Sinan Erdem.

Bayatlı, who left his post as President in April 2011 due to his own wishes and health problems, was appointed as the Honorary President of TOC.


Bayatlı’s influence extended beyond national borders as he became a pivotal figure in international sports journalism.

His tenure as a Board Member and Vice-President of the International Sports Writers Association (AIPS) culminated in his election as AIPS President in 1993.

Remarkably, he held this esteemed position for three terms, totalling 12 years, before transitioning to the role of Honorary President in May 2005.

In addition to his remarkable achievements in sports journalism, Bayatlı made significant contributions to sports administration.

He served as the Secretary General of the Turkish National Olympic Committee for 14 years, starting in 1984.

In August 2003, following the passing of Mr. Sinan Erdem, Bayatlı was unanimously elected as the President of TOC, a testament to his leadership and vision in the realm of sports administration.


His commitment to international sports diplomacy was evident in his roles within various esteemed organizations.

Bayatlı served on the Board of Directors of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and contributed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Volleyball Federation, FIFA, and Mediterranean Games Press Commissions for 12 years.

Bayatlı’s exemplary service and dedication to the world of sports earned him numerous accolades, including the IOC Award of Merit (Olympic Order), the French Ministry of Sports Gold Medal, and the FIFA 100th Anniversary Medal of Honor.


Togay Bayatlı’s remarkable contributions was not confined to his professional endeavours; he was also a loving husband and a devoted father to two children.

His legacy lives on as an inspiration to future generations in the realms of sports journalism, administration, and international sports diplomacy.

Sadly, Togay Bayatlı passed away on April 2, 2024, at the age of 85, leaving behind a profound impact on the world of sports and journalism. He will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.


AIPS First Vice President, Esat Yilmaer said in his farewell:

“The Turkish Sports Media, is deeply saddened by the loss of the great leader Togay Bayatlı. He was the most valuable and important name for the Turkish sports media, as we call him ‘father’.

“He was the president of the Turkish Sports Writers Association, the was the head of the National Olympics Committee, he was the president of AIPS.

“We learned the best from him, he was the best teacher. He encouraged us to do better, and to contribute more in the international arena.

“Personally, he always helped me and led the way to take roles in international sports media. I have followed his footsteps all the way.

“Unfortunately, he has been dealing with Alzheimer’s for the last 3 years. I have seen him 4 months ago for the last time. It was quite sad and burst me into tears, he was not able to recognize me and he thought I was one of his classmates.

“He grew me up, he held my hand since the early years of my career and then he didn’t recall who I am.

“There, the last time I saw him I remembered how energetic, how determined he was. 2 months ago, he lost his dear wife, Suzan, it was so hard for him to live without her.

“We will remember him always, we will never forget his valuable contributions to Turkish sports media, and the AIPS family. We will always remember his lessons. We will always walk the path that he led for us. We will miss him always.”

Credit: AIPS Media 

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