Former AIPS President Togay Bayatli dies at 85. 'X' / AIPSMEDIA

Togay Bayatli died on 2 April 2024 at the age of 85. He was awarded the OC Merit Award, the Gold Medal of the French Ministry of Sport, the FIFA Centennial Medal of Honour and the Burhan Felek Press Service Award.

Togay Bayatli, born in Turkey on 20 September 1938, was a versatile personality whose influence extended across sports journalism, administration and international sports diplomacy. He was President of the International Association of Sports Writers (AIPS) from 1993 to 2005.

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.'

"Unfortunately, he has been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the past three years. The last time I saw him was four months ago. It was very sad and brought tears to my eyes because he did not recognise me and thought I was one of his classmates," he added.

A former footballer for İstanbulspor and Yeşildirek, Bayatli turned to sports journalism after an injury, most notably writing for Milliyet newspaper for over fifty years from 1958. He was a member of the board of the European Olympic Committee and served for 12 years on the press commissions of the International Olympic Committee, the International Volleyball Federation, FIFA and the Mediterranean Games.

The former footballer was General Secretary of the Turkish National Olympic Committee (TOC) for 14 years from 1984 before becoming President in August 2003, succeeding Sinan Erdem. He stepped down in April 2011 due to personal and health reasons, but remained as Honorary President.

"We will always remember him, we will never forget his valuable contributions to the Turkish sports media, and the AIPS family. We will always remember his lessons. We will always follow the path he has shown us. We will always miss him," Yilmaer concluded.