Nail Çakırhan was born in 1910 in Gökabad
(District of Ula, Province of Muğla) which is today’s Gökova. He
attended elementary school in Ula, Gymnasium in Muğla and the High
School in Konya. 12 years old he started to write poems. With 13 he
wrote the first handwritten newspaper in Konya and with 18 he
published the first ever printed magazine in Konya. When he was 19
he enrolled to study medicine in Istanbul but left the university to
devote himself to journalism.
24 years old he went to the Soviet Union to
study political economy. After he returned to Turkey in 1937 he was
occupied with journalism, selling books and accountancy. 1951 he
went to Karatepe-Aslantaş to help his wife, who lead the excavation
and restoration works in Karatepe-Aslantaş. He took on some of the
construction work, developing and supervising the building of the
roof sheltering the excavation location, the offices of the
Forestry Deparetment, the elementary school, official residences and
of the atelier. This occupation opened the way to his further
intense productivity. He died on 11.10.2008.
Prof. Dr. Halet Çambel was born in 1916. She
attended the American College and finished her studies at the
Sorbonne. In 1940 she became H.T. Bossart’s assistant at the
Istanbul University. Çambel, who established the professorship for
prehistoric sciences together with Karl Bittel, has been competently
involved into the for educating of many young scientists.
For Çambel, communal education has always been
very important therefore she transformed the work at
Karatepe-Aslantaş, which played an important role for the
understanding and decoding of the Hitite-Language, into a public
project. One of Çambel’s greatest achievements have been the work on
„Çayönü“, the oldest settlement of mankind. Parallel she lead the
excavations of Pişmiş Kale, the Midas city, Karatepe-Aslantaş and
scientific research on the prehistory of south eastern Turkey and a
project to rescue Keban.
The Nail Çakırhan and Halet Çambel Art and
Culture House opened in 1998 with a glamorous celebration. Quite a
number of well known people from the world of politics and art have
been among the participants of the festivity, like Tarık Akan, Ali
Özgentürk, Mümtaz Soysal, Oktay Akbal, Ilhan Selçuk, Mina Urgan,
Şadan Gökovalı and Oktay Ekinci. After the opening Nail Çakırhan
gave the management of the exhibition house to the Association of
the Friends of Gökova-Akyaka to be used for cultural and artistic
Especially the wooden
ceiling of the, carefully and masterly constructed building,
exemplary for Nail Çakırhan’s famous Ula Architecture, is a pleasure
for the eye. The walls of the exhibition room comprise almost
completely of windows, letting the light enter from all directions.
The building was constructed in the garden of the famous Ağa Han
award winning Çakırhan House. The ‚museum’ which firstly opened with
a photograph exhibition of Nail Çakırhan’s work, was used
afterwards for all kind of art and gained regional and even
nationwide popularity within a short time.
This season, like every year, it will be a
meeting point for all people interested in art with biweekly
alternating exhibitions shown between May and October.
We invite all art lovers to use the chance to
meet the artists themselves, present during their exhibitions and to
discuss their art and their workswith them.