Traditional Turkish Arts Foundation, Üsküdar

In Üsküdar, on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, there is a large compound set up to teach the traditional Turkish arts of calligraphy, ebru (paper marbling), miniature painting, leather embossing and bookbinding, inlay, papercutting, and Tezhib (illumination). The center is called the KTSV, or Klasik Türk Sanatları Vakfı and is located at 82 Doğancılar street, a 10 minute walk from the Üsküdar ferry station.



They offer classes taught by the most famous and respected calligraphers in Turkey: Uğur Derman, Hasan Çelebi, Mehmet and Osman Özçay, Davut Bektaş, and Mehmet Memiş. The Foundation is heavily subsidized by the Turkish Ministry of Culture, which is interested in fostering a new interest in the traditional arts of Turkey, which judging by the number of young (women mostly) who attend the classes and show in exhibitions, is working.

Inside, the building has beautiful examples of the arts they teach.




The Foundation has an excellent art supply store for Turkish craft work, selling supplies for calligraphy, illumination, marbling, and books on all of those subjects.




I came away from it with a few pieces of ebru paper, a book of Thuluth calligraphy practice pages, some pre-illuminated papers for calligraphy, and some cool gold-transfer designs I have some plans for.


Şevki Efendi (Shawki Efendi in Arabic)’s pratice pages for Nesih (Naskh) and Sülüs (Thuluth).


I mentioned earlier that they teach Ottoman Turkish classes as well. Ottoman, the literary language of the Ottoman Empire is so different from modern Turkish that a native speaker of Turkish cannot read or understand it without training. Besides being written in Arabic script, the language borrows so heavily from Arabic and Persian that the modern Turkish language bears very little grammatical similarity to Ottoman. As such, if you are a Turkish historian or just interested in reading a book written prior to the 1920s you must take language courses, just to do research in your own language. I can think of no other situation where the (indigenous) inhabitants of a country speak a different language than their great-grandparents.

~ by Josh on July 26, 2009.

3 Responses to “Traditional Turkish Arts Foundation, Üsküdar”

  1. salaam brother i have been painting and drawing my entire life, but i really want to do calligraphy and hear in perth Australia there isn’t any supllies of calligraphy to do. i really want where can i buy the supplies in australia or if there is any chance of delivering them.

    thanks for your time

  2. Hi Josh-

    Does the center teach any art classes in English?

    Thanks for what you share on your blog.

  3. We are introducing a new product for Paper marbelling Artists “concentrated ox gall” and are now looking for overseas retail/whole interest to market our product.

    Please contact me:
    Daryl Wilkinson
    Phone: 61.2.9869 0966.
    Web: Click on MARBLE TULIP

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