Turkey’s renowned film director Ömer Lütfi Akad died Saturday at the age of 95 in Istanbul. Akad, who died of old age, will be buried today after a ceremony that will be held today at 1 p.m. at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Cinema Television Department, where he had served as a lecturer for more than 20 years.
His body will be taken to the Levent Mosque for a funeral ceremony and buried in the Ulus Cemetery.
Delivering a message for the death of the famous director, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said Akad produced many masterpieces for Turkish cinema during his professional life and made great contributions to Turkey’s culture and art life.
Gül said he also had a special place in Turkish cinema with his effective use of language. “Akad’s death is a big loss for our country. He will be remembered for his unforgettable films and contributions to Turkish cinema.”
Born in 1916, Akad, known as the “huge plane tree of Turkish cinema,” left more than 100 films behind. He directed movies between 1948 and 1974. Following his secondary education at French Jeanne d’Arc School and Galatasaray High School, he studied finance at Istanbul Economy and Commerce Higher School.
Besides his occupation as financial advisor at the Sema Film Company, he wrote articles on theater and cinema. Later on, he taught at Mimar Sinan University for 20 years.
Akad started his directing career with the film “Damga” (The Mark), directed before by Seyfi Haveri, who discontinued the project. His debut film was “Vurun Kahpeye “(Kill the Whore), an adaptation of famous Turkish writer, academic and politician Halide Edip Adıvar’s book of the same title.
The film titled “Kanun Namına” (In The Name of the Law), which was inspired by a real event, was one of his masterpieces. The film made Turkish actor Ayhan Işık famous in 1952.
“Hudutların Kanunu” (Law of the Borders), which he worked on with Yılmaz Güney in 1967, was a turning point in Akad’s cinema career.
Akad became one of the pioneers of the period in the “Director Generation.” His 1970s trilogy about internal migration in Turkey, “Gelin” (The Bride, 1973), “Düğün” (The Wedding, 1974) and “Diyet” (The Sacrifice, 1975), is considered his masterpiece. Afterward, he withdrew from movie making and turned to directing adaptations for television.
He won many awards including the Best Drama Film 2nd Prize for “Hudutların Kanunu” at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in 1976, the Best Film Award 2nd Prize for “Vesikalı Yarim” (My Licensed Love) at the same festival in 1974, the Best Director Award for “Düğün” (Wedding) at the same festival in 1975, the Ankara International Film Festival Award in 2001, and the Adana Golden Boll Honorary Award in 2009.
Akad included many kinds of themes in his movies, including fiction, detective stories, adventure, musicals, melodramas, comedy, documentary, Anatolian folklore and love stories