Calligraphist, marbling artist and bookbindery artist (B. 29th January 1883, Istanbul – D. 5th January 1976, Istanbul). His full name was Mehmet Necmeddin Okyay. Due to his love of archery, he adopted Okyay (T.N. Arrow and bow) as his surname when surname act was released. His father was Abdünnebî Efendi, head clerk of Üsküdar Mahkeme-i Şer’iyye (T.N. ecclesiastical court) and imam of Yeni Valide Mosque and his mother was Binnaz Hanım. He graduated from Karagazi (Karakadı) Mahalle Mektebi (T.N. local school) and he took hıfz courses (T.N. memorizing of Koran) from Kasapzâde Hâfız Mehmed Efendi. While he was at Ravza-i Terakkî Mektebi, his teacher died and he took hıfz courses from Hâfız Şükrü Efendi of the same school. He took rik’a, divanî and celî divanî courses from Hasan Talat Bey who was the calligraphy teacher at the school and he gained his permission to become a calligraphist. In 1902 Hasan Talat Bey took him to Filibeli (Bakkal) Hacı Arif Efendi’s calligraphy room in Nuruosmaniye Madrasah and he continued to take lessons from him.
He dropped out in his second year at Üsküdar İdadisi (High School). He got the permission of Sâmi Efendi for ta’liq script and tuluth-naskh script (1905-06). At the same time he took archery lessons from Seyfeddin Bey, the chief archer and he took marbling lessons from sheikh of Özbekler Dergâhı, Edhem Efendi in Üsküdar. He took bookbindery lessons from the famous bookbinder Baha Efendi. He took courses from Konyalı Hoca Vehbi Efendi to learn how to make calligraphy inks and he also took tughra (T.N. Sultan’s Signature) writing lessons from Tuğrakeş İ. Hakkı Bey. Due to his wide area of interests, he was nicknamed as Hezarfen (artist having multiple skills).
He became the imam of Yeni Valide Mosque when his father died. He was appointed as marbling and sizing teacher at Medreseü’l-hattâtîn (T.N. University of Arts). Later he became the chairman of Medreseü’l-hattâtîn. He gave rik’a (T.N. a writing style)lessons at Kanunî Sultan Süleyman School in Süleymaniye and at Bostancı Mektebi and Erenköy Mektebi. While he was a teacher, he established a technique called written marbling and flower marbling. He could draw some flowers such as tulip, pink and hyacinth in the marbling tank. Thus, the flower marbling was called the “Necmeddin ebrusu (T.N. Necmeddin’s marbling).” He showed an interest in bookbindery in 1925 and he learnt galvanoplasty technique to make new bindings, along with fixing old books’ covers. Beginning from 1926, he had destroyed old-fashioned covers and leather bindings. In 1927, he created bindings, none of which resembled the other one, for the luxury edition of Nutuk of the President Ghazi Mustafa Kemal.
After Şark Tezyînî Sanatlar Mektebi (T.N. School of Art of Decorating) joined the Devlet Güzel Sanatlar Akademisi (T.N. State Fine Arts Academy) under the name of Türk Tezyînî Sanatları (T.N. Turkish Enrichment Arts) (1936) he pursued his career there. He was retired in January 1948, he continued his art at home working with his tutees and writing calligraphy plates for people. His works are available at libraries, Mimar Sinan University and private collections. There is a big calligraphy plate of him at Topkapı Palace and there is also calligraphy of Necmeddin Okyay at the house in where Pierre Loti lived on Türbe town.