Safa Dogruyol

VOA Broadcaster, Interpreter

Safa Dogruyol, 77, who worked for the Voice of America in Washington as an interpreter, news writer and radio broadcaster, died of complications from pneumonia Oct. 1 at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Mr. Dogruyol worked at VOA from 1955 to 1982, when he retired as bureau chief for the Turkish service.

During his tenure with VOA, he was frequently requested to serve as interpreter for Turkish dignitaries who were meeting with U.S. leaders. Some of the more notable assignments included working with President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Turkish President Ismet Inonu, Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson and Undersecretary of State George Ball.

After his retirement, Mr. Dogruyol continued to provide interpreter services for the U.S. government on a freelance basis. In 1996, he was requested by the White House to interpret on a call between President Bill Clinton and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel.

From the mid-1980s to 2001, Mr. Dogruyol performed as a freelance interpreter for the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. He accompanied Turkish educators, professionals, members of Parliament and government officials on multi-city tours to confer with their U.S. counterparts for professional enrichment and cultural exchange.

He was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, and grew up in Ankara, Turkey. He immigrated to the United States in 1948 and became a U.S. citizen in 1956. He attended City College of New York and studied government at George Washington University.

Mr. Dogruyol moved to the Washington area in 1955 and had lived in Reston since 1968.

He was a member of several Turkish American associations in the Washington area. For several years in the 1970s, he coached Reston girls' soccer teams.

His marriage to Suzanne Gordon ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, whom he married in 1978, Sevinc (Yemisci) Dogruyol of Reston; two children from the first marriage, Jale D. Osgood of Ashburn and Lale D. Bonner of Huntersville, N.C.; two brothers; two sisters; and three grandchildren.