President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated the grand Turkish Presidential Library with a ceremony in the capital Ankara on Thursday.
“Our library flourished with books in 134 different languages brought from Turkey and abroad, and has four million printed books of different disciplines,” Erdogan told the opening ceremony.
The new library, built inside the the presidential complex, features 120 million articles and reports as well as over half a million e-books, he said.
Erdogan also thanked Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Uzbekistan’s First Lady Ziroat Mirziyoyeva for their attendance to the inauguration ceremony.
It is Turkey’s largest in terms of both the size of its collection and its physical footprint.
The Turkish Presidential Library project was spearheaded by Erdogan and realized through intense efforts by leading Turkish intellectuals, librarians, NGOs, and groups representing the disadvantaged.
Decorated with the traditional Seljuk, Ottoman, and modern motifs, it was built on 125,000 square meters (some 1.35 million square feet) and can host 5,000 people at a time.
The library also features a special hall named Cihannuma (world atlas). There are 16 columns in the hall representing Turkic states from the history.
With a collection of 200,000 books in an area of 3,500 square meters (37,673 square feet), 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 are available in the World Library inside Cihannuma Hall.
Ambassadors and representatives of countries including Uzbekistan, Chile, China, France, and Belarus personally had 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.
Nasreddin Hodja Children’s Library
The Nasreddin Hodja Children’s Library is available for visitors aged 5-10, and those aged 10-15 will be able to use the Youth Library. There are also separate mini libraries focusing on sounds and images, rare books, and research.
Visitors have the opportunity to learn about classical Turkish history thanks to departments shedding light on the history of the Seljuks and Anatolia.