Safa was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. Earlier in his career, he worked at Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts as a Stage Technician. He has also worked for various film projects and TV commercials as a line producer and a cinematographer. Safa's essays and articles have been published in Trendsetter Magazine (Istanbul) and Alarm Magazine (Chicago) under his pen name: Ahlapot.
Safa holds a B.A. in Film from Marmara University and M.A.M. from Columbia College in Chicago.