Cüneyt Ayral was born in Sisli, Istanbul, on 13 February 1954. After completing Ondokuz Mayis Primary School in Sisli he entered the German High School, but after one year his father’s job took the family to Ankara, where he attended Atatürk High School. Upon graduation he studied at the Public Administration for Turkey and the Middle East Institute’s School of Management, graduating in 1979.
Here he took courses in management technics at multinational companies, the organization of communication in public administration, and comparative development models for Turkey and Japan, publishing several articles on these subjects. He also took private lessons in social and cultural anthropology from Prof. Dr. Bozkurt Güvenç of Hacettepe University Faculty of Social Sciences, and became interested in the behavioral sciences and psychology.
Ayral had his first experience of working life at a young age, taking diverse jobs such as working as a shop assistant at Universal Book Store in Ankara, as a reporter for newspapers and news agencies such as Satan, Be and MBA, and as a columnist writer “Ankara’dan Merhaba” for Demokrat Izmir, “Virgül” for Baris, and “Bakis” for Yeni Ulus newspapers. He became a producer and script writer for the Voice of Turkey radio station, visiting many parts of Turkey to produce programs for Turkish workers abroad. He set his signature to such radio programs such as “Greetings from Home”, “Requests from the Homeland” and “Your Doctor Says” which received more letters and any other program during the 1970. He also produced such popular programs such as “Polyphonic Turkish Music” and “The Turkish Woman”. He then joined the Department of Highways, first as private secretary to the general manager and later as operations technician in the Training Section, where he ran courses on the maintenance, repair and use of typewriters for the secretaries of the organization. During this time he prepared a handbook on these subjects.
Ayral started swimming at the young age, and competed as a member of the Marmara Sailing Club swimming team in Istanbul. As a student in Ankara he became a member of the Middle East Technical University Sports Club swimming team and participated in many national events, winning numerous medals. However, he was obliged to give up swimming at the age of 13 after injuring his arm during a competition. In 1989 he took up golf, and as an active member of Istanbul Golf Club now plays on various international courses.
In 1979, Cüneyt Ayral went to England, where he learnt English in 18 weeks while working in various jobs such as ice-cream seller , street vendor, and aquarium guard. In 1980 he joined the BBC World Service Turkish Broadcasts as a producer and presenter. Meanwhile he worked as a professional photographer, supplying photographs to western news agencies and the Turkish Ministry of Tourism archives. He also held two photograph exhibitions. In 1977 he established the association of Ankara Photographers (AFSAD) and became general secretary, while Mr. Sinan Çetin became president.
In 1979 his membership of the Association was canceled, but in 1992 he was elected honorary member on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of its establishment.
In 1981, Cüneyt Ayral returned to Turkey and settled in his birthplace, Istanbul, where he worked as a copy writer for Rajan. He went on to work as a copy writer and creative group member for agencies such as Yeni Ajans, Reklam Moran and San Ajans. During this time he produces and acted in many television commercials.
He established his own company in 1982, trading in women’s lingerie. In 1988, he established Bin Tane Yayinlari, a publishing company, Proklus Reklam Ajansi, an advertising agency, and Konstantiniyye Haberleri Gazatesi (later renamed as Bizim Sehir Haberleri Gazetesi) newspaper. In 1993, Ayral stopped publishing the newspaper.
In 1992, he began producing a series about Istanbul for TRT1 television, but after three episodes he left following a disagreement with TRT. However, the program continued for ten more episodes under the same title and with the same signature. In 1992-93, he produced and presented over 30 episodes of “Those Among Us” for the Friday evening program “Cümbürcu ma” on Interstar television.
During the same period he acted as advisor to the popular Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan for four months, working as art director for the television programs she made for Kanal 6.
Ayral’s poems, essays, short stories and articles have been published in numerous periodicals, and he was the author of a column entitled “Tadimlik” for Car Men Magazine.
Currently Cüneyt Ayral is working as a freelance reporter and writer for Hürriyet Gösteri magazine and Yeni Yüzyil newspaper. He also writes articles for international periodicals devoted to the subject of lingerie (Linea Intima). Ayral lectures on various subject in his field at universities, and organizes poetry recitals.
Over one thousand of Ayral’s articles and news items have been published in many different magazines and newspapers. Cüneyt Ayral owns the Ayral Group, a manufacturer and distributor of lingerie, and is both president and chief executive officer for the Group. Ayral has pioneered in the followings campaigns launched within his own company.
Saving waste paper for recycling
The poster and red ribbon campaign against the spread of AIDS, which raised donations for the
Aids Prevention Society and paid for doctors to assist in the society’s work.
Campaign to promote free thought and rescind laws against free expression.
Cüneyt Ayral is married and has two children, and speaks English and German.