Friends of Gökova-Akyaka


Nail Çakırhan & Halet Çambel House of Culture and Arts

Ali Altun 08.08.- 17.08. 2014

I was born in 1961 in Antakya. I am married and father of three children.
From a young age I was interested in painting and carving. Self taught, I practiced carving and learned the intricacies of this art.
After completion of primary education, encouraged by some carpenters, I opened a small workshop.
Thus began my passion for furniture carving. Over time I have developed myself and I have focussed on classic furniture. During this work I always was inspired by nature and developed new designs for furniture. After two years of military service I went to Saudi Arabia to realize there my dreams of having a large workshop and creating my own style. I stayed there for 10 years and worked on carved furniture for guest suites of the Saudi royal family and their villas and residences. This period promoted my work and I developed new models.
After my return from Saudi Arabia, I founded a small workshop in Antakya and began to work intensively to get a reputation. In 1998 I sketched an Atatürk bust for the Sükrü Kanatli Elementary School in Antakya and handed it over to the school. At the request of Bekir
Karabacak, the former governor, I prepared a 2.10m high Atatürk bust for the kindergarten in Zübeyde.
Because of these two pieces of work my popularity grew in Antioch. In the meantime, I moved to a larger workshop to continue my work on a wider scale. Established at the request of Mr. Manson Rakıcıoğlu, then governor of Hatay, I completed a project for the renovation of the government building. In 2000 I carried out the interior decoration of the Orthodox Church of
Antioch and the carving of the doors. Demand grew and I sent a lot of my work to different cities and countries.
During the years 2001-2003 I restored the Savon Hotel in Antakya with many carvings and classic furniture. In 2006 I designed various carvings and furniture for the Dedeman Hotel in Antakya. In the presidential suite of the Dedeman Hotel examples of my work can be seen, too. I worked in many other traditional hotels on restorations that kept true to the original works. In 2010, I created eight doors for the Saint Andrew's Church in Riverside, California. As a follow up, I received offers from home and abroad for similar work. Currently some of this work I already have accepted and I am still considering other requests.