EU delegation donates books to unique Ankara library
The head of the EU delegation to Turkey on Feb. 7 handed over 20 boxes of books to a special library in the capital, established with books found in garbage bins.
In a visit to make a contribution to the library founded by the cleaning workers of Ankara’s Çankaya district, EU Ambassador Christian Berger and his wife Marilena met with Çankaya Mayor Alper Taşdelen.
During the visit, Berger said they heard about the library on social media.
“The initiative was very welcomed by our staff and our colleagues in the delegation. In a very short period of time, we got to get 20 boxes of books, which I hope will not only contribute to your library, but to the general concept of education,” Berger said.
Berger noted they came from a generation with a high appreciation for books and would never throw them away.
“So, we prefer to donate the books,” he said.
Berger donated the ancient Greek author Homer’s epic poem Odyssey as a personal gift.
Taşdelen thanked Berger and his delegation for their contributions to the library.
“Some of our municipality workers read Dostoyevsky and Gorky during the day and collect the garbage in Çankaya at night,” said Taşdelen, noting that the library was the first of its kind in the world.
“I’m proud of them,” he added.
Yoldaş Özer, a cleaning worker, told state-run Anadolu Agency they now had the opportunity to read while resting and sipping tea.
“One of the goals of the project is to obtain a mobile library truck by which we can carry books to village schools,” he said.
Earlier in January, the agency reported on garbage collectors’ mission to sort books from the trash in the Çankaya district, the cultural and financial hub of Ankara.
In a matter of just eight months, the library has come to boast 5,000 books in 17 categories, ranging from literature to history and politics.