With the normalization process underway, libraries have opened their doors once again, and people are taking this opportunity to visit some of the largest and most historically and culturally rich libraries in Turkey. One of the recent visitors was artist Hülya Koçyiğit, an icon of Turkish cinema. On Tuesday, she visited the Presidential Library in the capital Ankara.
Koçyiğit was accompanied by Fecir Alptekin, principal consultant to the president, and Ayhan Tuğlu, head of the Presidential Libraries Department. Koçyiğit first toured the "Mürekkebin Izi: Yazma Eserler (Selected Manuscripts)" and the "Mûcebince Amel Oluna: Hatt-ı Hümayunlar (Imperial Edicts)" exhibits and then walked through the library's various sections and collections and acquired information.
Koçyiğit stated that she was greatly affected by the Presidential Library and that it was a beautiful work of art. She said that by incorporating traditional Seljuk and Ottoman architecture with contemporary designs, the building had an inviting aesthetic, encouraging people to read and research.
"It is a beautiful masterwork, and it will lead researchers, scholars, students and readers to utilize our cultural reservoir. From history to art, literature and science, various books on different fields await readers. These books will also be available online, and they are accessible in different languages other than Turkish as well," she said.
Koçyiğit's tour then led her to the Nasreddin Hoca Children's Library section, named after the famous Seljuk satirist Nasreddin Hoca. The Children's Library houses a collection of 25,000 books and is available for readers between the ages of 5 and 10. Speaking about the Children's Library, Koçyiğit said that the library offered a wide range of opportunities to all ages.
"In the Children's Library, kids can read and also have the opportunity to collectively take part in practical studies. In areas designed for reading, they can have studies that blend together reading and games. The library with all its features appeals to young and old alike," she said.
Koçyiğit then visited the library's Cihannüma (World Atlas) Hall. The hall is decorated with 16 columns meant to symbolize the 16 great Turkic Empires and is home to 250,000 books. The dome of the hall stands 32 meters (105 feet) high and is adorned with the inscription, "He is the one who taught how to write with a pen, taught the human being what he did not know," which is from the fourth and fifth verse of the chapter Al-Alaq from the Quran, signifying the importance of reading and writing. Koçyiğit stated that she was particularly impressed with the hall.
"It is impossible not to be impressed by every corner of the library, but especially the Cihannüma Hall with its 16 columns representing the 16 great Turkic Empires is fascinating. I would want to spend hours in just that hall," she said.
She added that she had been eager to see the library for a long time and that she intended to come to the library back when it was first inaugurated but because of the pandemic, she had to postpone her visit. She thanked everyone involved in the making of the library.
"The Presidential Library is a gift to our Republic for its 100th birthday. This has been my first visit and I was enchanted throughout. I will be coming back here regularly for certain. I am leaving but my mind is occupied with this place. I want to offer my endless thanks first to our president, and to all who contributed to and had a hand in making the Presidential Library," Koçyiğit said.
The Presidential Library is the largest library in Turkey with a collection of over 4 million books in 134 different languages and 120 million articles and reports. It is the largest single library investment in the history of the Republic of Turkey. It was officially inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 20, 2020.
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