Art historian (b. 17 June 1928, Adapazarı - d. 13 July 2017, İstanbul). His full name is Erol Nejat Diyarbekirli. He was from an immigrant family who emigrated from Diyarbakır to Adapazarı. Pianist Ayşegül Sarıca is his wife. He attended primary school in Adapazarı, secondary school in İstanbul Kadıköy Saint Joseph Private French College. He graduated from State Fine Arts Academy (1954). There were great masters of that period among his lecturers, such as Celâl Esad Arseven, Rıfkı Melûl Meriç, Behçet Ünsal, Nurettin Ormancı, Oktay Aslanapa, Kurt Erdmann, Kenan Özbel, Hüseyin Tahirzade and Süheyl Ünver. He has selected the branch of History of Art interesting in all branches of Turkish art. He also studied the traditional Turkish arts such as miniature, tile making, ceramics etc. He has given lectures on Turkish Culture and Art History, Turkish Architecture and Decoration in the Middle and Inner Asia after the Islam, the Art of textile and carpet making among Turks, the Art of Tile Making and tiles of pewter among Turks and the Art of Miniature among Turks in the State Academy of Fine Arts, Institute of History of Turkish Art, İstanbul Anadoluhisarı Sports Academy, State Conservatoire of Turkish Music, Mimar Sinan University and after his retirement in 1995, in Muğla University.
In 1956, he entered as an assistant to the State Fine Arts Academy, Department of History of Turkish Art. He was appointed to the cadre of assistant professorship in 1969 and professorship in 1979. Because of his researches on Turkish handmade arts, he has charged to the Director of Turkish Tourism Organization. In 1958, he became the first artist that opened the “Turkish Handmade Works Exhibition”. He published the catalogue "Ne Nerededir?" (What is Where?) in order to determine the place and quality of these works.
He continued his works abroad; he made researches on the collections of Turkish art works in the museums and private collections in Sweden in 1959, between 62-63 in the United Kingdom, later in Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Vienna, Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oxford and Cambridge. These researches were continued in Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and especially in the Middle Asia, and even in Caucasia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. He majored his studies on Inner Asia and became a Specialist of Inner Asia. He has got numerous slides (diapositive) and video film archives on folkloric materials, ethnographic works, wovens, architectural and plastic art works which belongs to the Turkish Communities in which he has discovered in the his researches in the Middle Asia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan among forty years.
Diyarbekirli has written many articles on Turkish Architecture, Tile-Carpet, Miniature and Mine, Wooden, Stone Works, Art and Cultures till the end of Medieval Ages and Architecture and Arts as a specialist on these issues. From 1963, his articles were published in the reviews Türk Sanat Araştırmaları ve İncelemeleri, Akademi, Cultura Turcica, Türkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu Belleteni, Türk Kültürü, İstanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat-Fakültesi 50. Yıl Armağanı, Tarih Enstitüsü Dergisi, Halı, Orkun, Türk Dünyası Araştırmaları, Türk Edebiyatı, Sanat Çevresi, Boğaziçi, Ars Turcican (Munich), Tarih ve Medeniyet, Tarih ve Düşünce and Türkler Ansiklopedisi (Encyclopedia of Turks). He participated as the Turkey representative to the Silk Road Project organized by UNESCO in 1987. He made a lot of contributions both in theory and practice, presented communiqués and organized exhibitions till 2001. In 1993, because of his contributions to Silk Road Project, he took UNESCO Service Medal in the Center UNESCO in Paris. In addition to his academic career, Diyarbekirli also played basketball in Fenerbahçe Sports Club, which he began in his collage years and he served as the Captain of Fenerbahçe Basketball Team for long years. He represented the Turkish National Uniform successfully in the international contests. He served as the member of Prime Ministry, Institute of Researches of Turkish Culture (1976-), as the Turkey Representative and organizational membership of the International Conference of Oriental Carpets and as the member Organization (1977-2004), as the member of the Atatürk Culture, Language and History Academy, as the member of the Science Committee of the Directorate of Atatürk Culture Center (1995 – 2001).
Türk Sanatının Kaynaklarına Doğru, Hun Sanatı (Towards to the Origins of Turkish Art, Hun Art, 1972), İslâmiyetten Önce Türk Sanatı: Hunlar – Göktürkler – Uygurlar (Turkish Art before Islam: Huns- Gokturks and Uighurs, 1977), İslâmiyet’ten Önce Türk Sanatı -Başlangıcından Bugüne Türk Sanatı (Turkish Art before Islam: Turkish Art from Beginning till Today, 1993), Orhundan Geliyorum (I‘m Coming from Orhun).