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Saturday, March 24, 2007

YUSUF: “Court tutor Hafiz Yusuf” (d. 1783)

Yusuf was a native of Istanbul. He was born in the district of Tophane but his date of birth is uncertain. He was the slave of Demirci Agha, who cast the metal for the cannons in the foundry belonging to the Corps of Janissaries, and was thus generally known as ‘Demirci KuIu’ (save of the iron-worker).He learned the art of calligraphy from Dervish Mehmed Celebi, a pupil of Ahmet Karahisari, and from Abdullah Kirimi. He was responsible for the Jeli inscriptions in the mosque built by the famous Turkish seaman and Admiral Kilic All Pasha at Tophane. The date of his death is given in the Tuhfe-i Hattatin as 1020 H., and in the Hattatlar silsilesi by Gebecizade Mehmed Vasfi Effendi as 1018 H. He is buried in the cemetery belonging to the Karabas tekke (dervish lodge) at Tophane.

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