Turkey's largest library to be disabled-friendly
Turkey's largest library, set to be inaugurated in the capital Ankara on Feb. 20, will feature 4 million printed books and offer disabled-friendly services starting right from the carpark to the library.
The Nation's Library project was spearheaded by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and realized through intense efforts by leading Turkish intellectuals, librarians, NGOs and groups representing the disadvantaged working in harmony.
“A technology room for visually impaired users was prepared by [Turkey's leading cellphone operator] Turkcell. Also, another technology room by Turk Telecom for both visually impaired and hearing-impaired users is in the works,” Ayhan Tuğlu, head of the presidential library department, told Anadolu Agency.
“Our library is disabled-friendly starting from the very first entry to the inside of the library. Carts to carry disabled users will be available. A user with a wheelchair will be able to reach the library easily,” Tuğlu said.
“Turkey's largest library was the National Library, which was built on 45,000 square meters [of land]. The new library is 125,000 square meters [1.35 million square feet].”
4 mln printed books
Tuğlu said the library is Turkey's largest not only in terms of its physical capacity, but also the number of books.
“It features 4 million printed books, over 120 million electronic editions and 550,000 e-books and rare collections,” he said, adding that national broadcaster TRT's audio archive, boasting 1.2 million audio files, will also be accessible to users.
Notably, books published in 134 different languages and 120 million articles and reports are lined up on the shelves, spanning some 201 kilometers of shelves.
Located inside the presidential complex, the library can accommodate up to 5,000 people at a time and will offer students, researchers, and literature enthusiasts a collection including millions of books, articles, and reports available in a printed and online format.
Tuğlu said the new library is decorated with traditional Seljuk, Ottoman and contemporary motifs.
With the inauguration looming, the library will be open to the public around the clock.
With its rich book collections and services for visitors, the library is expected to become a world-renowned research center.
Nasreddin Hodja Children's Library
The Nasreddin Hodja Children's Library will be available for visitors ages 5-10, and those age 10-15 will be able to use the Youth Library.
There will also be separate mini libraries focusing on sounds and images, rare books and research.
Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about classical Turkish history thanks to departments shedding light on the history of the Seljuks and Anatolia.
The library also features a special hall named Cihannuma (world atlas). There are 16 columns in the hall representing Turkic states from the annals of history.
With a collection of 200,000 books in an area of 3,500 square meters, the hall is ready for visitors.
In addition, citations from the Muslim holy book, the Quran, on the significance of reading and writing are inscribed on the dome of the hall.
In collaboration with the Foreign Ministry, scores of books were brought to the library from every country where Turkey has a diplomatic mission. These books on the culture and history of the countries will be available in the World Library inside Cihannuma Hall.
Ambassadors and representatives of countries including Uzbekistan, Chile, China, France, and Belarus personally visited the presidential complex and graciously donated books that were later added to the library's archive.
Notably, French President Emmanuel Macron sent a special envoy and said the Turkish and French national libraries could collaborate in the field of literature.
The library is also projected to be a lifelong education center where visitors - whether children or adults - will be offered courses on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, augmented reality, and coding.