World famous painter from Kütahya, ney player Ahmet Yakupoğlu, has passed away at the hospital he was being treated at the age of 96.

Yakupoğlu, who had been undergoing treatment at the Dumlupınar University (DPU) Kütahya Evliya Çelebi Training and Research Hospital for almost a year, lost his life due to organ failure. Kamil Saraçoğlu, the Mayor of Kütahya, stated that Yakupoğlu is a world-renowned and important artist and that they are deeply sorry because of his death.

Saraçoğlu, who stated that Yakupoğlu will continue to live on with his artworks said: “Yakupoğlu was not just a painter. He was a man of many talents in numerous fields of art. We visited him at the hospital he was being treated at from time to time. He was a valuable man who lived and breathed art for 96 years. It is really difficult to fill the void his death left us with. He made great contributions to Kütahya up to now. He had great contributions to art on a global scale. May God rest his soul.”

Yakuoğlu, in addition to thousands of paintings in which he painted the nature of Kütahya, the city he was born in, also gave the Tiled Mosque to Kütahya, the architecture, construction and the tiles of which he undertook himself as well as acting as a leader for the foundation of the city museum and library and acted as the museum manager for many years.

Yakuoğlu, who pioneered the restoration of numerous historical buildings in the years he lived in Kütahya and trained tens of ney players in the city, grew dense pine saplings in his 7 decare garden, as a man who loves the nature. He also convinced the habitants of the nearby villagers to perform forestation and ensured that 70 thousand decares of land around Kütahya became a pine forest.

Yakupoğlu also pioneered the works for the foundation of the Dumlupınar University in Kütahya and designed the logo of the university.


Yakupoğlu wanted to leave what he had to Kütahya and a short while ago, terminated the foundation established in his name, and donated his house, other assets, art library consisting of 3 thousand books and all his other works consisting of more than 500 paintings as well as ornamentation and miniature artworks to the Dumlupınar University.

Ahmet Yakupoğlu, (November 1920 Kütahya – November 2, 2016, Kütahya)

He was born in the Saray Neighborhood of Kütahya in November 1920. He is the son of Hadji Halil Agha of the Yakupoğlu’s and Mrs. Şefika. His interest in painting started at an early age when he began to study books with pictures for long periods of time. Yakupoğlu, who started his education at the Derviş Pasha Primary School in 1927, exhibited some of his paintings in the school halls and was also successful in his other studies. Yakupoğlu, as a constant reader at the Vehid Pasha Provincial Public Library during his primary and middle education, read all pictures containing pictures and all books written on the art of painting in this library and was seeking the way of becoming a good artist.

In 1941, he had the chance to meet Süheyl Ünver, one of the professors at the Istanbul University, who came to Kütahya to study the manuscripts at the Vahid Pasha Provincial Public Library. Yakuoğlu, who entered the entry exams for the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts with beautiful and successful paintings after the Kütahya High School, was accepted to the Academy without an oral examination.

However, he will again have to overcome challenges. Ahmet Yakupoğlu’s nephew Rıfat Çalışel tells an important and special memory concerning those days as such: “When my uncle was entering the exam, they request two black and white passport photographs. Since he had no such preparation when he got on the way from Kütahya, he asks for permission immediately and looking at the mirror of the resting room of the Academy, he draws a 3 cm x 4 cm pencil drawing portrait of him. He delivers such to the application counter. It was such a realistic drawing that it cannot be distinguished from a photograph. This is how he can enter the exam. My uncle’s tenacity and desire has caused him to pass this exam, which started with challenges, in a victorious manner.”

With Süheyl Ünver’s suggestion, he selected the Feyhaman Duran Workshop at the Department of Painting. With the guidance of Süleyman Şahap, an architect from Kütahya, he stayed at the Fatih Madrasahs. He graduated from the academy in 1945. In the years he was in Istanbul, he received miniature and ornamentation lessons from Prof. Süheyl Ünver, ney lessons from Ney Player Halil Dikmen and music lessons from Ney Player Nurullah Kılınç and Süleyman Erguner. Yakupoğlu, who also took an interest in museology in addition to painting after returning to Kütahya, undertook leading tasks at the opening of the Vacidiye Madrasah as a museum and the organization and staffing of such. After working for four years at this museum, he completed his education by helping Süheyl Ünver at the Istanbul University Institute of Medical History.

Ahmet Yakupoğlu has almost two thousand original paintings in addition to copied paintings. He has almost dripped all kinds of water into his paintings with an extraordinary beauty. That’s why he is also known as the painter of the waters. In almost one thousand of his oil on canvas paintings, he has portrayed the streets of Kütahya and its whereabouts, old monuments, recreation areas and the different kinds of people and has created a site of visit where this collection is exhibited permanently. He worked at the restoration of numerous valuable monuments including Sun’ullah Gaybi Tomb, Karagöz Ahmet Pasha Tomb, Ana Sultan Tomb, Hıdırlık Small Mosque, Paşa Sultan Door, and Tellal Fountain and has trained more than forty ney players. He struggled for more a land more than twenty thousand decares to become a “pine forest” at the skirts of the Yellice Mountain at the south of Kütahya and has served the future of the city and the nature.

Ahmet Yakupoğlu, who used the surname Çalışel until 1964, has donated his paintings, library and house at the Maltepe district of Kütahya to the Dumlupınar University.

Yakupoğlu, who wanted to leave what he had to Kütahya, terminated the foundation established in his name a while ago and donated the Tiled Mosque, which he worked on personally from its foundation up to its roof, his house on a big land at Maltepe, his garden and other assets as well as his art library consisting of 3 thousand books and all his other works consisting of ornamentation and miniature artworks in addition to his 1500 paintings to the Dumlupınar University.

Yakupoğlu, who donated his artworks to the university under the condition that “they are not taken out of the province in a permanent manner other than for purposes of exhibition,” had the word of university management that they would build a museum in which all his artworks will be exhibited. He lost his life on October 2, 2016 in Kütahya.

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