The Life of Cuneyt Arkin, the Legendary Actor of Yesilcam

Cuney Arkin, one of the actors evoking admiration for his handsomeness, skillful acting and gentleness in Yesilcam, which had the best years in the 70s, embarked on the eternal journey, deeply saddening all those who loved him and his fans. Playing the starring role in numerous movies throughout his career, the successful actor lived up to the title "jon" (the male lead) so skillfully that the expressions "handsome as Cuneyt Arkin" or "Cuneyt Arkin" started to be used even in daily life.



Creating a unique and irreplaceable identity with his handsomeness, strong aura and charisma in the movies he acted, the actor left behind numerous fans and died. After the death of Cuneyt Arkin, whose place can never be filled, people started to wonder who he was, where and when he was born, how many movies he acted in, and what kind of a person he was in his private life. Here is the life of Cuneyt Arkin, the unforgettable actor of Yesilcam…



The Man Who Brought To Life Malkocoglu and Kara Murat

Cuneyt Arkin or Fahrettin Cureklibatir with his real name, who is engraved in the memory of Turkish people with the characters Malkocoglu and Kara Murat, was born on September 8, 1937 in Odunpazari, Eskisehir. His father was Haci Yakup Cureklibatir, who fought in the War of Independence. With Nogai origin, Cuneyt Arkin completed his high school education at Eskisehir Ataturk High School. Then, the actor was admitted to the Faculty of Medicine at Istanbul University, and he graduated with a good degree in 1961.  



During his military service as a reserve officer in Eskisehir in 1963, he attracted the attention of the director Halit Refig on the set of the movie Safak Bekcileri, starring Goksel Arsoy. After his military service, he served as a physician in Adana and neighboring provinces. He came first in the competition held by the magazine Artist in 1963 and entered the cinema industry with the offer he received from Halit Refig and appeared on the big screen. He started to climb the success and fame ladder rapidly by starring in 30 films in 2 years.   



The movie Gurbet Kuslari that was shot in 1964 marked a milestone in his acting career.
 With his performance in the fight scene in this movie, he proved that, apart from the romantic young characters, he could successfully play brave characters in action movies. He received acrobatics training for six months at the Medrano Circus, which visited Istanbul during this time.




The techniques he learned here helped him develop a unique style in the movies Malkocoglu and Battal Gazi. Cuneyt Arkın switched from mainstream movies to avant-garde movies successfully and strengthened his name by playing different characters throughout his acting career. The master actor, who successfully played numerous roles in comedy, adventure, western and social movies, has become a brand in Turkish cinema, especially with the movies such as Maden in 1978 and Vatandas Riza in 1979.   



The award granted to Yilmaz Guney, who was recognized as the best actor for his role in the movie "Baba" at the 4th Golden Boll Film Festival in 1972 that coincided with the 12th of March, was withdrawn due to political reasons and granted to Cuneyt Arkin, who came second for his performance in the movie "Yarali Kurt" but the famous actor refused the award. He explained it as follows: “It was the right of Yilmaz Guney to receive that award. Would accepting that award befit me while every level-headed person knew this fact? It would not befit me."



The movie "Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam", starring the successful actor in 1982, has become a classic, and even a cult movie. He starred in numerous action and detective movies in the 80s. Cuneyt Arkin performed in most of the dangerous scenes, such as horse riding and karate, without a stuntman. Presenting TV shows and writing articles about health and medicine for newspapers for a while, apart from acting, Cuneyt Arkin earned the love and admiration of Turkish people by achieving success in everything he made, especially in the cinema.



Private Life of Cuneyt Arkin

Cuneyt Arkin got married twice. His first wife was Guler Mocan, who was his classmate from the Faculty of Medicine, and his daughter Filiz was born from this marriage in 1966. However, their marriage did not work out, and they divorced in 1968.





In the same year, his path crossed with that of Betul Isil, the daughter of a wealthy family owning a tile factory. In 1969, he got engaged to Betul Isil, who was a stewardess in those years, and they got married in 1970.  They divorced in 1971. Betul-Cuneyt Cureklibatir remarried after a short time and the couple had two sons, named Kaan and Murat. Cuneyt Arkin, who did not see his daughter Filiz, had 7 grandchildren named Cemre, Polat, Tara, Arkin, Zeynep, Defne and Sarp.




His death deeply saddened everyone 

Cuneyt Arkin, the handsome and brave character of Turkish cinema, who was hospitalized on June 28, 2022 due to a sudden heart condition and could not survive despite all medical interventions, died at the age of 85. The actor, one of the strongest branches of Yesilcam, is enshrined in the hearts of the audience and Turkish people with his gentleness, dignity and pure-heart as well as his talent.



Cuneyt Arkin was brought to Tesvikiye Mosque for the funeral prayer after the ceremony held at Ataturk Cultural Center on June 30, 2022 and buried in Zincirlikuyu cemetery. His funeral witnessed extremely emotional moments as a huge crowd consisting of his family, co-stars and citizens bade farewell to him in tears and applauses. With a deep place in the hearts of his family and fans, Cuneyt Arkin will continue to live and remain among the legendary figures of Yesilcam forever.

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  • Danielle S. Wyatt
  • 07-07-2022

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