Architect, poet and writer (b. 26 November 1934 - d. 22 March 2020, ıstanbul). He graduated from 56th Primary School (Saraçhane), Istanbul Boys’ High School (1953), State Fine Arts Academy Department of Architecture (1956), Munich Technical University Department of Architecture (1959). He worked as a lecturer at Mimar Sinan University Department of Urban Planning and Architecture (1961-1962, 1999-2000), Zafer Architecture and Engineering Academy (1967-1969) and Trakya University (1998-1999). He worked as an architect in Munich (1959-1961), in Ankara and Istanbul (1962-2000) and as a consultant at Antalya Metropolitan Municipality (1999-2000). Bektaş continued with his work as an independent architect since 1959 and he was a visiting lecturer in Macedonia, Germany and USA. He has also worked as the general president of Writers’ Union of Turkey and Turkey-Greece Friendship Association. His architectural designs have a functional approach.
Architect Cengiz Bektaş has received 1978 National Architecture Exhibition Award with his project of Turkish Linguistic Association building and 2001 Aga Khan Architecture Award with his project “Akdeniz University Olbia Social Center”. Among other architectural projects he completed, we see “International Industry and Trade Bank” in Istanbul (1985-1986) and “Aphrodisias Additional Museum” in Aydın (2006-2007).
As an architect Cengiz Bektaş says: “The buildings constructed by those people who have no idea about their own culture and tradition brings into our minds the question “Could these people be the children of such a past?”.
According to me, an architect, especially a Turkish architect has to be aware of the cultural heritage. Architecture is for people and it should be done in a way to provide them humanitarian dimensions; this means to work for their requirements, happiness and health.”
He has won several prizes; 1968 Turkish Linguistic Association Research Award with his book Criticism in Architecture (1967), and TRT 1970 Art Awards Contest Single Poem Success Prize with one of his poems. He has also received Trojan Poetry Award and Romania Contribution to Balkan Culture Award (2003), and 2007 Ceyhun Atıf Kansu Poetry Award with his poem Dün Bugün (2007). He has also received several architectural awards from different urban planning and architecture institutions. Some of his poems and stories were translated into several languages. His poem named Akdeniz was composed and sang by Aylin Livaneli.
Cengiz Bektaş began with his writing career in 1950 at a local newspaper in Denizli. His poems and articles were published in several journals such as Fazil Hüsnü Dağlarca’s Türkçe (1960), Dost (1963), Sanat Sanatçılar (1965), Türk Dili (TDK, 1968-83), Yazko Edebiyat, Varlık, İnsancıl, Güzel Yazılar, Evrensel Kültür, Kıyı. He is known with his poems, essays and reviews; and also with his writings and speeches on architecture.
“Cengiz Bektaş is a sophisticated individual. Although he was educated in Europe; he was made from the Anatolian culture; a combination of Hittite, Frig, and Lydian….he is the son of a mother from Caria, son of Cybele….He holds the magic of art in his fingertips, he brings beauty wherever he touches, the building he touches becomes alive, the stone he touches starts to breathe. He harvests from the whole world, not only from his own country.
“Architect and poet combine traditional and modern, and they construct buildings with this combination, apart from imitations. His Architectural Diary is also Poet’s Diary: “I draw my houses on savories”. Then he places friendship, love, human breath and life into those houses. His architect hand knows where to put a stone, a brick. That is how Bektaş constructs his poetry. He places the words in daily language, especially those not included to poetry so far, with a small touch; and he adds new yarn from fairy tales and iterations.” (Mehmet Başaran)
POETRY: Kişi (1964), Akdeniz (1970), Mor (1974; new edition, all poems, 1998), Dört Kişiydiler Bir de Ben (1975), Yeryüzünün Yüreği (1978), Yerdeli Gökdeli (1980), Zeytinli Fırın Sokağı (1981), Güz Ey (1983), Dört Kişiydiler Bir de Ben + Ustalarım (1984), Fide (1987), On’u Birden (1992), Ustalarım, Dışların İçi (1994), Su Belleği (1998), Su Gölgesi (2002), Sevgi Alnımın Teri (2003).
ESSAY-RESEARCH: Mimarlıkta Eleştiri (1967), Bedri Rahmi Nakışlı Bir Deneme (1975), Benim Oğlum Bina Okur (1980), Duvarların Dışı da Senin (1982), Yuva mı Mal mı (1983), Kimin Bu Sokaklar Alanlar Kentler (1987), Hoşgörünün Öteki Adı: Kuzguncuk (1996), Kültür Kirlenmesi (1996), Kent (1996), Ev Alma Komşu Al (1996), Yaşama Kültürü, Bak Bak Desinler (1998), Barış Sofrası (2001), Kentli Olmak ya da Olmamak (1999-2004).
COMPILATION: Kocasinan (1968), Halk Yapı Sanatından Bir Örnek: Bodrum (1977), Antalya (1980), Babadağ Evleri (1987), Şirinköy Evleri (1987), Akşehir Evleri (1987), Koruma Onarım (1992), Kuşadası Evleri (1992), Mimarca Merme (1993), Kuş Evleri (1994), Türk Evi (1996), Selçuklu Kervansarayları (1999), Halk Yapı Sanatı (2001).
CHILDREN’S BOOK: Koca Rıza (1981), Usta ile Çırak (1989), Ebemevi (1989), Sevgiyle Yap (1990), Çağıl Nasıl Mavi Oldu? (1995), Kitap Bahçesi I-II (2005).
TRANSLATION: Çizmeli Kedi (1981), Sappho (poetry, with Azra Erhat , 1978).
ARCHITECTURE: Toprak Mahsulleri Ofisi Genel Müdürlüğü ( with O. Vural and V. Özsan, 1964), Türkiye Büyükelçiliği (with Bonn, O. Vural and V. Özsan,1964), Etimesgut Camisi (1965), Merkez Bankası Şubesi (Denizli, 1971), Silivri Toplu Konutları (İstanbul, 1972), Babadağlılar Çarşısı (Denizli,1973-75), Türk Dil Kurumu Binası (Ankara, 1977), Binevler Toplu Konut Yerleşmesi (Edirne, 1978), Demir Çelik Fabrikası (İzmir, 1983).
REFERENCE: Yurt Ansiklopedisi (c. III, 1982), Atilla Özkırımlı / Türk Edebiyatı Ansiklopedisi (c. 1, s. 212, 1982), Büyük Larousse (c. 3, s. 1462, 1986), Ana Britannica (c. 3, s. 534, 1987), Memet Fuat / Çağdaş Türk Şiiri Antolojisi (1999), Behçet Necatigil / Edebiyatımızda İsimler Sözlüğü (18. bas. 1999), Şükran Kurdakul / Şairler ve Yazarlar Sözlüğü (gen. 6. bas. 1999), TBE Ansiklopedisi (c. 1, s, 204, 2001), Mehmet Başaran / Sevgi Alnımın Teri (2003), Cengiz Bektaş: "Mimar Yalan Söylememeli" (mimarizm.com, erişim 16.04.2012), İhsan Işık / Türkiye Yazarlar Ansiklopedisi (2001) - Encyclopedia of Turkish Authors (2005) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2006, 2007) – Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Fomous People (2013).