Necati Akçağlılar was born in Izmir on the 22nd of May, 1924, the son of Süleyman Akçağlılar, who was one of the well known cheese manufacturers of the city.

After Necati Akçağlılar graduated from Mersinli Primary school, Karataş Middle School and then İnönu High School, he entered Law School, but soon realized that he did not care for the subject.

My father wanted me to work with him. When, in the end, I told him that I wanted to go overseas to continue my education, he said, 'You never planned to work with me anyway. Do whatever you want to do, but only this one time.' It was with that joy that I began my preparations to leave.

Necati Akçağlılar began his studies in civil engineering at Illinois University in 1945 and got his degree in 1948. Following that, he took a job as teaching assistant at the university's research center and continued his further studies, getting his advanced degree from the university in 1950. Like most students, before returning to his country, he wanted to work for a while in America in order to gain some practice and learn about the business world. Akçağlılar first worked for a year and a half as a Project Engineer in Florida at the Tallahassee center for the construction of America's Highway system, and following that he worked another 6 months, again as Project Engineer for the Chemical Construction Company in New York.

Although, when Necati Akçağlılar returned to Turkey, he worked with his father for a year, his desire to work in the field he had studied took precedence. With the intention of completing his military service, he took the exam for reserve officers.

There were two options before me: one was the navy; the other was fortifications. Because my home was Izmir, I preferred the navy, but it didn't work out. They decided to place me with NATO in the Ministry of Public Works.

Having started his military service in a battalion assigned to fortifications, because of the great demand for trained engineers in the many NATO projects all over the country, he was soon transferred to the Ministry of Public Works.

For 5 years during his military service, Necati Akçağlılar worked on the construction of NATO facilities. When he first began work, he didn't have the slightest knowledge about pipelines and tank construction. In his own words, he began by "emptying and filling tankers", but by the end of his five years, he had become an expert in the details related to the design and construction of gas stations.

Toward the end of this period, Necati Akçağlılar had begun working as the head of the division responsible for the construction of the airports and the fuel pipelines for the Airports and Fueling Services at the Ministry of Public Works. At this job, he gained a wide range of experience that, in addition to engineering, included project management, business management, human resources, accounting and finance, and a number of other areas that would provide a foundation for his later work in life.

During the time that Necati Akçağlılar had worked at the Ministry of Public Works, he had started a friendship with Feyyaz Berker and Nihat Gökyiğit. Their friendship continued outside the office, and during these years in the Ministry, they had discussed starting their own business. Some time later, Feyyaz Berker and Nihat Gökyiğit left the Ministry to start their own business. A few years later, Necati Akçağlılar joined them, and thus began their 50 year partnership together at Tekfen.

All his life, Necati Akçağlılar has been interested in sports, particularly football and sailing. His interest in sailing began with his looking at yachting magazines. Advancing his interest with the purchase of his boat named "İmbat", Akçağlılar took his interest even farther, culminating with his crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in the 1980s.

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