Nail Çakırhan

Correspondent, poet, internationally awarded architect, and restaurateur Nail Vahdeti Çakirhan born in 1910 in Ula. He had been persecuted because of a poem he wrote during his senior year in the high school. Later he dropped out of Istanbul Medical School and entered Law School but that didn’t satisfy him either. Dropped out of Law school, this time enrolled to Literature Faculty.

In 1930, he wrote a poetry book together with his friend Nazim Hikmet, called “1+1=One”. In 1934 he went to Russia and didn’t come back until 1937. A year later he married to Halet Çambel recognized archeologist and daughter of Hasan Cemal Bey, a close friend of Ataturk.

That was the start of his career as architect. When the contractor has quitted the job in Karatepe where his wife, Halet Cambel was carrying on an archeological excavation with Professor Bossert, he undertook the job and built “Karatepe Open-air Museum”, excavation house, and other buildings.

In 1970, he settled in Akyaka due to his health issue. He built a house here which combines the traditional architecture with today’s conditions and integrates with the environment. That house brought him one of the most prestigious awards, the Aga Khan Architecture Award. As someone without education of architecture having won this award caused a debate of “layman – educated” in the architecture world. Çakirhan, restored the Konakalti Han as Culture House with the aid of the fund came with the award.

Then he built various houses, hotels, and holiday villages in the region. He used mostly wooden materials instead of concrete so that formed a school known as Akyaka Houses. The house that brought him the award has been converted to a culture and art center in 1998. The Architect has died in Mugla on October 10th 2008 due to colon cancer. 

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