Kazasker Mustafa İzzet Efendi

Neyzen, Müzisyen, Devlet Adamı, Şair

16 Kasım, 1876
Diğer İsimler
Kazasker Efendi, Mustafa İzzet Efendi

Composer, nay player, calligraphist, poet and statesman (B. 1801, Tosya / Kastamonu – D. 16th November 1876, Istanbul). His father was Tosyalı Bostanizade Mustafa Aga and his mother was one of the grandchildren of İsmail Rumi Efendi, who was the founder of the Kadirî Dervish Convent in Istanbul. His wife was the aunt of the grand calligraphist Mehmet Şefik Bey, who was his student. After the death of his father, his mother sent him to Istanbul for his education. He started his education in the Başkurşunlu Madrasah in Fatih and he also started to learn writing (calligraphy) in this period. Later on, he was transferred to Galatasaray. He continued his education there during three years. The Sultan Mahmut II listened to the beautiful voice of Mustafa Efendi when he was telling poems praising prophets in the gathering-place of muezzin and he very liked him. He ordered to the ones next to him that this young one should have been taken care of his manners and taken to the Enderun (the School of the Palace) afterwards. He played nay and chanted for a long period there. Kazasker Mustafa İzzet Efendi, who was a very good nay player, was a musician who joined the fasils in the presence of Mahmut II. He was the person who found the mode of “Tarz-ı Cedid” used in the Turkish music. In addition to many songs of him, he had also one prelude and one semai that he wrote on the mode of tarz-ı cedid. Besides, he received ratification (diploma, proficiency) by learning thuluth and naskh from Çömez Mustafa Vâsıf Efendi, who was the District Governor of Pious Foundation of Hamidiye and, ta'liq script from Yesarîzâde Mustafa İzzet Efendi.

After Sultan Abdülmecit acceded to the throne, Mustafa İzzet Efendi requested for the duty of oratorical in the Mosque of Eyüp. Sultan Abdülmecit went to the Eyüp Mosque on a Friday, he very liked the khutbah read by Mustafa Efendi and he made him the second imam. He worked as the kadi of Salonika, Mecca and Istanbul in various dates and he was assigned as the Anatolian Kazasker (T.N. military judge) in 1849. The same year, he became the chief imam. After that, he was given the degree of Rumelia Kazasker. On year after, he became the script teacher of the Princes.

Mustafa İzzet Efendi was a very kind, very knowledgeable, gentleman, mature and social man of middle height, with a beautiful gracious face and blue-eyes, with ruddy cheeks and white beard, and he was loved by everybody. At that period, he was called as “Kazasker Efendi” among the calligraphists and the ones who loved music. He educated very valuable calligraphists. Mustafa İzzet Efendi, who was one of the most successful calligraphists of our calligraphy, didn’t do writing works on Saturdays and he told “I would recognize the writings I made on Saturdays from their nape even if forty years pass” because the calligraphists should work every day. He also corrected the writings of Sultan Mecit who was also a good calligraphist.

Mustafa İzzet Efendi also wrote a Koran with the calligraphy of ta'liq in his youthfulness. In his work named “Son Hattatlar”, İbnülemin Mahmut Kemal erroneously attributed this Koran to Yesarîzâde. However, this writing was the only Koran written by Kazasker in ta’liq and was decorated with a careful rococo ornamentation. Mustafa İzzet Efendi, who was one of the most important and biggest representatives of the science, art and politics world of the Ottoman Empire in the XIX Century, was also the calligraphist of the big panels pending in Haghia Sophia. The writings and epigraphs in many buildings in Bursa, Cairo and Istanbul in particular belong to him. He was an artist accepted as the sheik and the Hafız Osman of the period in the writings of thuluth and naskh.

Kazasker Efendi produced mostly calligraphy works in the types of naskh, thuluth and jeli thuluth. He has a unique style in the jeli writing type. Among his most famous calligraphy works, there was: the verse of “Nur” in the band of the cupola and the panel of “Hulefay-ı Raşidîn” in Haghia Sophia that was the biggest made until that day, the epigraph of ta’liq that is on the door of the Istanbul University (the old Daire-i Umür-ı Askeriye) and on the side that faces the garden, the two big panels in the Bursa Ulu Mosque, the panels in Hırka-i Şerif Mosque and Kasımpaşa Mosque, the verse of “Nur” in the Yahya Efendi Mausoleum, the “Süre-i Dehr” and ta’liq date on the Kavalalı Mehmet Ali Paşa Mausoleum in Egypt, sixteen Koran, fifteen Delailu'l-Hayrat, thirty “En’am” and kasaid, more than two hundred and fifty hilya and many panels.

Kazasker Efendi produced mostly calligraphy works in the types of naskh, thuluth, jeli thuluth and jeli ta’liq thuluth. As Uğur Derman says: “There is no music lover as good as Kazasker among calligraphists. No calligraphists as good as Kazasker is seen among music lovers”. It is told that an anonymous person told “Seigneurs! What you are entombing here is an education chest” while he was buried in the cemetery of the dervish convent where his ancestor Şeyh İsmail-i Rumi was entombed. His son Ata Bey worked very hard to get his picture done, however his father opposed. The son of his daughter Tahsin Bey told that he said the followings: “I don’t accept that my image stays after I die. I won’t give my blessing if you make my picture.

He spent his last years in his seaside residence in Bebek. He lost his life on 16th November 1876 and he was buried in the Cemetery of the Kadirî Dervish Convent in Tophane. His gravestone was the work of his student Muhsinzade Abdullah Hamdi Efendi.


The panels of caliph and the writing under the cupola in Haghia Sophia Museum, the epigraph of ta’liq on the inside of the door of the current Istanbul University, the old Daire-i Umür-ı Askeriye, the “Süre-i Dehr” and date written with ta’liq calligraphy on the Mehmet Ali Paşa Mausoleum in Egypt, works written in the types of naskh, thuluth, jeli thuluth and jeli ta’liq thuluth, the two big panels in the Bursa Ulu Mosque and Hırka-i Şerif Mosque, the writings carved to stone in Kasımpaşa Büyük Piyale Mosque and even in the monument of Washington, the song in the bestenigâr maqam and on the tempo of ağır aksak and the song in the maqam of segah and on the tempo of ağır aksak semai, two ağır aksak songs on the mode of mâye that is one of our less used mode and two songs in the maqams of bestenigar and ferahnak, he also wanted to create works of instrumental music and he composed a prelude on the mode of tarz-ı cedid, he composed two durak and one hymn as religious musical works, he was the inventor of the mode named ‘Tarz-ı Cedîd’ belonging to the science of Avâmil-i Muarrebî and Keşfü’l-İ’râb Musiki and the prelude of this maqam belonged to him. 

Kazasker M. E. sample of thuluth



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