Akyüz was born in Midyat, Mardin on 15 May 1969. He had two daughters and a son. Akyüz, who had been doing decoration works since his childhood, was known as a dynamic, charitable, and cheerful man.
In the application form to join the Gaza humanitarian aid flotilla he wrote “construction works” as the field he could offer help with. Trying to do something for the homeless in Gaza, Akyüz replied “for the sake of Allah” to the question why he took part in the flotilla.
A philanthropic, energetic, active person, Akyüz was know was as convivial, crowd-pleasing with elegant jokes, a swimming fan, chess player, and good with children. Each morning while leaving the house Cengiz Akyüz, remembered by his always smiling face, would tell his close friend “If your bag is full (if you are full of love, joy, hope, peace) let’s leave and share it with people…” He would attend wedding and funeral of anybody he knew and sing hymns, religious songs and play bendir. His favorite songs were those on martyrdom. “Now, you may write a song of martyrdom after me,” he told his friends while leaving to join the Gaza flotilla.
He had a large group of friends because he would always stand by people both on happy and sad days. A member of the İskenderun Humanitarian Aid Association, Akyüz voluntarily took part in activities of many non-profit organizations in İskenderun, Hatay.
What he really wanted to accomplish in the flotilla was to deliver the materials to the hospital to be built in Gaza. His last words to his wife before boarding the ship were “Take good care of the children, make them focus on education and practice praying!”