Painter Malik Aksel’s books form a new library in Bursa

Painter Malik Aksel’s books form a new library in Bursa

BURSA - Anatolia News Agency
Painter Malik Aksel’s books form a new library in Bursa

Malik Aksel library is currently home to many antique books. The library also includes a dictionary collection that attracts many reserachers and students.

Malik Aksel, a famous painter of Turkey’s Republican Era, had a huge collection of books. Currently his and his son’s library, which was accumulated over 40 years, is owned by the Bursa Municipality. The collection is kept at a historical mansion and serves academics. There are a total of 15,000 books in the library, and it is open to all researchers.

Uludağ University Academic Hasan Basri Öcalan, who played an important role in the donation of the books to the municipality library, said he met Malik Aksel’s son Murat Aksel in a book store in Bursa’s Book Store Bazaar many years ago.

Öcalan said he spotted Aksel choosing books that were used but in good condition.

“Murat Aksel and I became friends because of our love of books. However, although I became very close friends with Aksel, he never invited me to his house. In 2005 or 2006 he finally invited me to his house.”

Until that time Öcalan had not known that Aksel was the son of the famous painter Malik Aksel. “He was living with his aunt in a three-story house at that time. When he had a heart attack I worried about the books and asked him if he would give them to anyone, but he told me he did not want to hear such a question again.”

After Aksel’s condition worsened he called his friend and told him that he could take the books wherever he wanted.

The library is currently home to many antique books. Öcalan said the library included a dictionary collection.

Malik Aksel died at the age of 86 in 1987 in Istanbul. He and his son had amassed a vast collection, which they aimed to protect and preserve for as long as possible.

The mansion where the library is currently located was granted by the Şehbender family. The mansion was restored and three years ago all of the 15,000 books were transferred there.

These books are noteworthy in terms of artistic value, Öcalan said. “There are many valuable books about architecture, art, Islamic arts, painting and much more.”

There are books that might never have been seen before in Bursa. “Researchers can benefit from the library,” he said, adding that there were many rare books researchers might find very useful.

“The collection has an exclusive dictionary collection. However, on the other hand, we aim to feed the library and collect rare books and also new books.”

For the love of books

Aksel still visits the library, which also includes books written by his father, Malik Aksel. The library is open six days a week.

The library also preserves the memory of Turkish painter Malik Aksel, who was a veteran artist who supported figure paintings. He never gave up his love for figure paintings, Ahmet Muhip Dıranas, a Turkish poet, once said.

Malik Aksel’s love of books also made him a writer. He wrote six books about painting. Malik Aksel also served as a teacher and professor in various Republican Era schools.

During his time, abstract paintings were the general trend. Malik Aksel never gave up his own style, so his paintings included human figures.