By Heidi Trautmann
For the entire month of March Derman Atik, the cultural
director of the Girne and Çatalköy municipalities has managed to bring together
11 theatre groups from Cyprus and Turkey for this year’s 6th Beşparmak Theatre
Festival. One of the 15 performances was the sociocritical play by Behiç Ak
directed by Zerrin Akdenizli to which I went on 19 March.
A one-act play with two protagonists in a relationship
story, a marriage broken up and happily divorced. When I later learnt that the
playwright ia a well known caricaturist fully aware of the small details of
daily human life, observing and presenting the tricks and traps in a humorous
way, everything was clear to me. I had listened to the audience break out in
sudden giggles, clapping theır hands to some dialogues with HA-cries, etc., so
that I thought, the text has hit the nail on its head: A demonstration of
dialogues in the course of a married couple’s arguments.
It was a happy coincidence that I had with me a German
friend who was married to a Turkish man and she confirmed to me that is was
just that. A modern Turkish marriage. Not only Turkish, I replied, also German,
and very much so. The text intensive play highlighted many situations in such a
modern marriage with two headstrong independent characters. For this reason I
refer to the biography of the author at the end of my text. The two
protagonists Mehmet Samer and Cevahir Çasgir played their roles verz well, very
professional, especially the woman’s part was played very naturally, the body
language was very good. The part of the man demanded more stiff manners to demonstrate his security-minded position.
I would like to add a word to the stage design done by
Hüseyin Özinal: A revolving stage with transparent sliding doors which allowed
a close and also distant but still transparent view of a home.
The performances were all free – what an offer for culture
hungry society – and it was widely used. There are still some performances to
go, see the poster.
born in 1956 in the city of Samsun on Turkey’s black sea coast. He’s
a well- known cartoonist and author. He has also directed documentary films.
Ak studied architecture at Yıldız University and İstanbul
Technical University. Architectural education helped him to develop a
better awareness of the details of human life. His different way of looking at
people, nature, buildings, objects- in short, everything that surrounds us- is
reflected with a humorous and responsible style throughout of his work.
Since 1982 Behiç Ak has been drawing a daily comic strips under the
title “Kim Kime Dum Duma” (Everybody
for himself!) for the well-known newspaper Cumhuriyet . His comic books have
been published in Turkey and Germany. His comic strips have ben exhibited
throughout Turkey as well as in The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.
Ak has been writing and illustrating children’s books since 1986. He has
written and illustrated 26 children’s books that are continuously in print.
His children’s books are published in Turkey by the well- known
publishing houses such as GÜNIŞIĞI
KİTAPLIĞI, CAN YAYINLARI and ODTÜ YAYINLARI. His children’s
books are published not only in Turkey but also in Japan, Korea,
Germany and soon will be in China. Being a talented and successful
cartoonists, Ak’s illustrations are as powerful and colourful as his stories.
Some of his children’s books were first published in Japan by well- known
Japanese publishing houses such as GAKKEN, FUKIANKAN SHOTEN, KAGYUŞA. To date,
Ak is the best selling Turkish author in Japan.
In addition to his books, his cartoon strip story Mau Mio Mi has also
been published for a year by GAKKEN Publishing House in Yoiki No Gakhuşu
Journal, Japan .
Bilingual editions of some of his children’s books have been published in
Germany in Turkish-German, German-English and German-Russian versions.
Behiç Ak has written a number of plays, the most well known internationally
being Fay Hattı (Fault Line), staged
by both state and private theatres in many cities throughout Turkey and also
outside Turkey in cities such as Stuttgart/ Germany, Nicosia/Cyprus,
Athens /Greece, Antwerp / Belgium and Mountown / Croatia.
The documentary film he produced and directed in 1994, named Türk Sinemasında Sansürün Tarihi –
Siyahperde (The History of Censorship in Turkish Cinema – Black
Screen) won the “Best Documentary Film” award in the same year at
the Ankara Film Festival.
In year 2012, the 30th year of
Ak’s career, he was awarded the “Achievement and Contribution in
Architecture Prize” given by The Union of Turkish Engineers and Architects for
the consistent support he has given to environmental and architectural issues
through his comic strips, books and plays.
In 2012 the main publisher of Ak’s children’s books, Günışığı Kitaplığı, published a selection of
his comic strips about children in a special album crowning the 30th year of Ak’s career.