top of page


Kütahya tile artist Hamza Üstünkaya, who has been qualified for UNESCO Living Human Treasure Award has received his award from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism will also publish a book titled “Hamza Üstünkaya Designs and Kütahya Patterns”.

Kütahya tile artist Hamza Üstünkaya is one of our leading tile artists who hasappeared in the collections of various art centers in Turkey and around the world. He has created his own style with the experience he had working with the masters and ceramists of Kütahya, especially his father, Hacı Mehmet Üstünkaya, and thanks to courses taken from prominent masters such as Muhsin Demironat, Nezihe Bilgütay Derler. With his tireless studies and researches for more than half a century, he has introduced many new techniques in tile art. The artist, who has received many awards so far, has been qualified for the UNESCO Living Human Treasure Award.

Hamza Üstünkaya received the Living Human Treasure Award from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Republic of Turkey at the Living Human Treasures Awards Ceremony in the Presidential Complex, Beştepe Millet Congress and Cultural Center. Nisa, 4-year-old granddaughter of Hamza Üstünkaya, was applauded by all guests when she recited our National Anthem at the award ceremony.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, has pointed out that the definition of “Living Human Treasure” emerged under the title of Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention adopted by UNESCO in 2003 and to which Turkey became a party in 2006. The term came to use to recognize people who have the necessary knowledge and skills at a high level in terms of re-creating and reinterpreting certain elements of cultural accumulation. Recep Tayyip Erdoğanhas emphasized that Turkey is located in the world’s most generous regions in respect to Living Human Treasures. He has also underlined

that Turkey represents one of the top five countries with the highest number of cultural values out of 178 countries, with 18 cultural values registered in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

Tile artist from Kütahya, Hamza Üstünkaya who received such a significant award has received another good news from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Directorate of Libraries and Publications. It has beenannounced that a book prepared in Turkish and English, titled “Hamza Üstünkaya Designs and Kütahya Patterns” consisting of 250 original patterns of the artist that have never been used somewhere else, will be published soon. The book has been edited by Prof. Dr. İskender Işık and Prof. Dr. Remzi Gören (Rector of DPÜ 2015-2019) academics at Kütahya Dumlupınar University. The preparation of the book before publication has been made by Kütahya DPÜ Fine Arts Faculty research assistants Gökhan Akca, Resul Ay, Sercan Kehribar and lecturer Mustafa Bilge Koçer. This book comprises examples of the Kütahya style which has gained a significant place in the history of tile art and has been identified with Hamza Üstünkaya and his works today. The examples have been chosen from the works likely to be forgotten in short time. The book containing these compositions in Kütahya style, in which mostly frequent and symmetrical patterns consisting of the designs of Üstünkaya, is of significance as being historically the first and most important archive in terms of tile art in Kütahya. In addition, it is expected to be a very important reference in terms of preserving the Kütahya style and transferring it into the future.


bottom of page