İslam Seçen was born in 1936 in Pristina, Kosovo in 1936. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kosovo for 3 years, he moved to Istanbul.  In 1957, Seçen pursued his study at the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts. He studied classic bookbindery with Prof. Dr. Sacit Okyay, modern bookbindery and calligraphy with Prof. Emin Barın. After graduating from the academy, Seçen completed his study in the Department of Decorative Arts in 1961. He then started working at the Süleymaniye Library, and established the Bookbinding and Pathology Service.

Until he was appointed to the position of Chief Specialist in the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 1973, Seçen served at the Süleymaniye Library for 27 years. In 1977, he started teaching bookbindery at the Section of Traditional Turkish Arts in the Department of Decorative Arts of the State Academy of Fine Arts. In 1969 - 1970, he worked at the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon to restore calligraphy works, which had been damaged by a flood disaster. Seçen conducted this restoration for 32 years. Currently, he continues teaching at Mimar Sinan University and İSMEK Educational Association. In 2013, he received the 2012 Culture and Arts Grand Award from the Turkish President Abdullah Gül in Ankara.


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