Author • Turkish literature • Illustrator
He was born in Samsun and studied architecture in Yıldız University and İstanbul Technical University. He’s a well-known cartoonist, author, illustrator, and documentary film director. He draws daily cartoons for Cumhuriyet Newspaper since 1982. His cartoons were exhibited in several countries like Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. Besides his plays Separation (Ayrılık) and Building (Bina), his two other plays Fault Line (Fay Hattı) and City for One (Tek Kişilik Şehir) were staged in Europe and attracted big interest. The documentary film he produced and directed in 1994, The History of Censorship in Turkish Cinema – Black Screen (Türk Sinemasında Sansürün Tarihi – Siyahperde) won the “Best Documentary Film” award in the same year at Ankara Film Festival. After 1981 on, Behiç Ak concentrated mostly on children’s books which he is writing and illustrating at the same time. He gathered lots of attention from readers of all ages with his “Cheerful Stories” series covering books based on social critism. His award-winning, colourful picture book The Plain Tree with High Blood Pressure (Yüksek Tansiyonlu Çınar Ağacı, 2009), which was first published in Japan and later renewed and published in Turkiye by Günışığı Kitaplığı was translated also to Chinese in 2014. His other picture books, Marbles (Bilyeler, 2014) and The Cloud that Came Indoors (Gökdelene Giren Bulut, 2017) were also renewed by Günışığı Kitaplığı. His “Chubby Books” series is an introduction to philosophy for very young readers and covers 5 titles. Caricatures selected from his archive of 40 years were collected in The Book of Cartoons (Karikatür Kitabı, 2012) and Hooray for Kids! (Yaşasın Çocuklar!, 2021). His children’s novel Hurray for the Brotherhood of Ç! (Yaşasın Ç Harfi Kardeşliği, 2013) received IBBY Turkey’s “Children’s Novel of the Year” award in 2013 and “2014 Children and Young Adult’s Novel” award of Ankara University, Children and YA Books Research Centre. Among his 11 children’s novels, the latest two are Ball Hanging in the Air (Havada Asılı Kalan Top, 2021), which highlights the curiosity and creativity of children while revealing the child hidden inside every adult, and The Parrot at the Barbershop (Berberdeki Papağan, 2022) which tells the role of stories and art in the change of societies. His colorful scientific story, Ayşe’s Cloud Project (Ayşe’nin Bulut Projesi, 2023), published by Günışığı Kitaplığı as the first book of the new collection supporting “Climate Action”, draws attention to the world’s most urgent problem, water crisis. In 2019, Behiç Ak was honored by Ankara – Çankaya Municipality as an important cultural figure of Turkey, with a big exhibition opened in Zülfü Livaneli Cultural Center, covering examples from his works. He was the 2021 ALMA (Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) and 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award nominee of IBBY Turkey. Ak lives in İstanbul.