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   In copying the old masters, making portraits of my professors and friends I was able to mount nearly one exhibition every month at our school. One day, I had the immense honor of welcoming the Blitis region's governor and other city officials to an exhibition. When the mayor was informed that the school had neither a local consecrated to the fine arts nor art professor, he ordered that a studio and materials be put at my disposal and that there I could work on my own on condition that I train talented students in drawing and painting.  
At age 16, I held my first personal exhibition outside the school at the public meeting hall in Van and six months later in the Turkish capital of Ankara. I held 11 personal exhibitions before leaving high school. At each exhibition I learned an enormous number of things and met many art professionals. My name appeared in all the country's major newspapers.
At school and in the town of Tatvan, I became a celebrity. I was loved and admired by all…except the one who was the most important to me, the girl for whom I would have moved mountains. The more my love remained unrequited, the more I worked. And I turned heartache into matter for my art. I often received declarations of love from girls I knew in the school, but I cared only for my blue-eyed muse