Nail Çakırhan

Architect, Journalist, Politician, Poet

10 October, 2008
Konya High School
Other Names
Nail Vahdeti Çakırhan, Nail V.

Architect, journalist, poet, politician. (B. 1910, Ula/Muğla – D. October 2008Muğla). His full name is Nail Vahdeti Çakırhan and he used the pen name Nail V. for his poetry. He graduated from Konya High School (1929) and studied in Istanbul University Medicine, Law and Literature and in Moscow Eastern Folks University. He married Prof. Dr. Halet Çambel, the daughter of Hasan Rıza Çambel who was one of the close companions of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

During his high school years he started to write poetry and at the age of seventeen he published the Kervan magazine in Konya. He was taken into custody because of a poem he wrote during his last year in high school but was released upon Atatürk’s order by phone. Nazım Hikmet who appreciated his poem published it in Hareket magazine which was being published by Istanbul University, Faculty of Law students. They met on this occasion. Çakırhan started to work in Resimli Ay magazine upon the suggestion of Nazım Hikmet which was being published by him. In the same time he worked as an editor in Cumhuriyet newspaper and continued to write poetry. His poems were published in magazines such as Halka Doğru, Resimli Hafta, Ses, Görüşler and Gerçek. He published a shared poetry book with Nazım Hikmet in 1930 titled 1+1=Bir. They lived in Nazım’s father’s house for a while together and were arrested because of establishing a communist organization (1932). Upon the amnesty granted in the 10th year of the establishment of republic he went to Soviet Union. He studied socialist economy for two and half years in Moscow Eastern Folks University. On his return he worked as a journalist and accountant. He was put onto trial with founders of Turkish Socialist Laborer Peasant Party in 1946 and was condemned to 4 years according to 141st article of Penal Law. He was released with the amnesty of 1950.

Çakırhan digged archeological excavations with his wife in Osmaniye Toprakkale. He built in 1963 in Ankara the Turkish Historical Association’s building whose project belonged to Turgut Cansever. He undertook the building of German High School which belonged to German Embassy. He built an excavation house in Ergani where Halet Çambel started excavations in collaboration with Chicago University. In the beginning of 1980 he returned to Muğla. In spite of the fact he did not receive any architectural education he was known with his restoration and architecture works on Muğla and Ula architecture. He received architecture awards with his buildings which revived traditional Anatolian architecture. He was granted in 1983 International Aga Khan Architecture Award with his work in Muğla-Konakaltı. Using the money he received with this award he restored an old khan in Muğla as a cultural house. He carried the architectural values of the past to the present with his works in Gökova, Dalyan, Bodrum, Muğla, Datça and Fethiye. He is a founder member of Nazım Hikmet Culture and Arts Foundation Council Board and History Foundation.    


POETRY: 1+1=Bir (with Nazım Hikmet, 1930), Daha Çok Onlar Yaşamalıydı (All Poems, 1996).

ESSAYS: Harbin Eşiğindeki Türkiye (Tan Gazetesi Yazıları, 2003).    

MEMORIES-LETTERS: Üç Hapishaneden Mektuplar Canım Halet'çiğim (2008), Memories: Nail Çakırhan, (ed. Erden Akbulut, 2008).

OTHER: Yapı Sanatında Yarım Yüz Yıl (2006).




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