Turkey’s first lighthouse-library sheds light for sailors and bookworms

Turkey’s first lighthouse-library sheds light for sailors and bookworms

ÇANAKKALE - Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s first lighthouse-library sheds light for sailors and bookworms

The Sivrice Lighthouse Library offers sailors and researchers books, stamps and postcards about lighthouses from around the world. AA photo

Llibrary founded inside the Sivrice Lighthouse in Çanakkale’s Ayvacık district is continuing to act as a beacon for sailors and researchers alike who are seeking information about lighthouses.

Professor Yücel Sayman, a member of Istanbul Medipol University’s Law Department, rented the Sivrice Lighthouse approximately five years ago from the General Directorate of Coastal Safety for 10 years after the directorate opened a tender as part of a privatization drive. Sayman, who has collected books, stamps and postcards about lighthouses from around the world, converted the lodging site into a library on lighthouses.

Sayman said he did not have any initial plans to convert the lighthouse into a library. “They usually convert such places into taverns, clubs or restaurants, which harms the environment,” Sayman said. “I applied to the auction in order to be able to protect this place. When they asked me what I was going to do in this place, I replied: a library. This turned out to be a place where every book in the world about lighthouses is collected. Now we have approximately 900 books. I find these online or by visiting bookstores abroad. Actually, it is not an easy task. You cannot find an organized library anywhere. The books are limited and hard to find. It also requires much investment. My wife and I did all these things by challenging our own economic resources. I collected every country’s stamps about lighthouses; only a couple of stamps are missing. We even have postcards and collect various objects. Also we are publishing books; so far we have published three books, one of which is a children’s book, under the title of Sivrice Lighthouse Publishing.”

He said they were currently collecting miniature paintings of lighthouses in a book with the help of a U.S.-based Iranian miniaturist.
Researchers interested but not come here

Noting that the Sivrice Lighthouse is the first lighthouse-library in Turkey, Sayman said: “This library is an important information center about sailors. We are expecting researchers to come here. A couple of researchers have contacted us; one of them was writing a master’s thesis, and the other just came and looked around. They wanted to study here in winter, but then the library is closed. Researchers are interested but they are not coming, although we have all the sources and facilities.”

Sayman, who has not yet decided whether to apply to continue his lease on the lighthouse once his term ends, said he hoped the library would be open for years to come.

“The lighthouse has a small room to live in. My wife and I live there in summer, knowing that all of the nature is ours,” said Sayman.

He also said they were organizing an event inside the library each year and that a team from London had published his work in a book.

For the past two years, conferences on bio-law have also been held in the lighthouse by the Medicine and Law departments of Istanbul Medipol University.