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 illustrates daily cartoons for the 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 plays named 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, named 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, Behiç Ak was about to concentrate himself deeply on his children’s books that he was writing and illustrating at the same time. He gathered lots of attention from readers of all ages with his series “Cheerful Stories” based on social critism. The award-winning colourful picture book The Plain Tree with High Blood Pressure (Yüksek Tansiyonlu Çınar Ağacı, 2009), which was first published in Japan, renewed by Günışığı Kitaplığı with an authentic design and translated into Chinese in 2014. The other picture books of him, Marbles (Bilyeler, 2014) and The Cloud that Came Indoors (Gökdelene Giren Bulut, 2017) were also renewed by Günışığı Kitaplığı. Continuing to write for his “Chubby Books” series which is an introduction to philosophy for very young readers and which covers books like How Long is My Hand? (Benim Bir Karışım, 2013), Chubby Doesn’t Want to Join the Masquerade (Tombiş Maskeli Baloya Katılmak İstemiyor, 2018). 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. Telling the story of an author who becomes the protagonist of his own story 6.44 pm Wave (6.44 Dalgası, 2020) is followed by his latest children’s novel Ball Hanging in the Air (Havada Asılı Kalan Top, 2021) highlighting the curiosity and creativity of children and revealing the child hidden inside every adult. 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. Ak lives in İstanbul and he was the 2021 ALMA (Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) and 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award nominee of IBBY Turkey.