President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is set to inaugurate Turkey's Presidential Library in the capital Ankara on Thursday. The massive library will offer students, researchers and literature enthusiasts a collection enriched with millions of books, articles and reports available in printed and online formats.
Built on a 125,000-square-meter area inside the presidential complex and with the ability to host 5,000 visitors, the library features 4 million printed books, over 120 million electronic editions, and 550,000 e-book and rare collections.
Hosting books published in 134 different languages and 120 million articles and reports, the shelves that will house the books span a total distance of 201 kilometers.
The project, spearheaded by Erdoğan, was developed following an intense research and study period in which Turkey's leading intellectuals, library managers, nongovernmental organizations and disadvantaged groups worked in harmony to produce the best library in Turkey.
With its rich book collection and services to be provided to visitors, the library, which is already the largest in Turkey, is expected to be a prominent research center around the globe.
Additionally, the Nasreddin Hodja Children Library will be available for visitors between the ages of 5 and 10 and those between 10 and 15 will be able to use the Youth Library. Also, there will be separate mini-libraries focusing on sound and image, rare books and research.
Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about classical Turkish history thanks to the departments shedding light on the history of the Seljuks and Anatolia.
The library will also have a restaurant and several cafes and a small theater to screen films for children.
Donations of books for the new library have poured in from all across the country. Restorers are working on a valuable trove of nearly 1,000 manuscripts donated to the library by author Mehmet Şevket Eygi. A book restoration facility will also be a part of the library.
In collaboration with the Foreign Ministry, scores of books were brought to the library from every country where Turkey has a mission. These books on the culture and history of the countries will be available in the World Library, inside Cihannuma Hall.
Adorned with 16 columns that represent the Turkish states in history and inscriptions from the Islamic holy book Quran on the significance of reading and writing on the dome, Cihannuma Hall will offer visitors some 200,000 books in an area of 3,500 square meters.
Ambassadors and representatives of several countries – including Uzbekistan, Chile, China, France and Belarus – personally visited the presidential complex and donated the books which were later added to the library's archive.
Notably, French President Emmanuel Macron sent a special envoy and said Turkish and French national libraries could collaborate in the field of literature.
The library is also projected to be a lifelong education center where the visitors, whether they be children or adults, will be provided with training courses on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, augmented reality and coding.