Yücel Çakmaklı was born to a civil servant and his wife as the eldest child of four siblings in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey.
After attending elementary and secondary school, Çakmaklı begins studying economics in Istanbul.
Çakmaklı wrote the film manifesto “Millî Sinema” (“National Cinema”), which emphasized Turkey’s historical and national values: “It is obvious that Turkish cinema will only be able to assume the identity of a ‘milli sinema’ if it produces films that reflect the faith of the Turkish people (with their villagers and urbanites), which puts spiritual values before material things, the national characters [and] the Anatolian reality brought forth [literally: kneaded] with traditions. ” 1
“Türk sinemasının ancak, köylüsü ve şehirlisiyle manevi kıymetleri maddeden üstün tutan Müslüman Türk halkının inançları, milli karakterleri, gelenekleriyle yoğrulmuş, Anadolu gerçeğini yansıtan filmler vererek ›milli sinema‹ hüviyetine kavuşacağı aşikârdır. 2
He makes initial contacts with film people and starts working an an assistant director, among other things.
Founding of the film production company Elif Film and production of the first (documentary) film Kâbe Yollarında.
Production of the first feature film Birleşen Yollar, which implements the basic idea articulated in his film manifesto: modernization process of Turkish society, comparison and confrontation between a traditional and Western lifestyle.
Creative phase during the Yesilam era.
TV productions for the Turkish public broadcasting company TRT.
Prague Film Festival Jury Award for Çok Sesli Bir Ölüm (1977) and Çözülme (1977).
Shooting of series and feature films for the private sector.
Award of the state “Medal of Distinguished Service” (Devlet Üstün Hizmet Madalyası).
On August 23, Yücel Çakmaklı dies in the course of heart surgery and is buried in the presence of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
1 Translation from Alkin 2019: 279.
2 Çakmaklı (2014, p. 16).