The buildings of some distinguished public and academic libraries, the National Library and the Library of the Turkish Grand National Assembly will be analyzed. Focus will be on Istanbul and Ankara a s the greater number of libraries are in these cities. The situation of the library buildings in the country will also be described generally.
The first library with a separate building in Istanbul dates back to 1661 and is called "The K¸pr³l³ Library" after the founder. "At²f Efendi Library"
(1741)4. "Koca Rag²p Pana Library" (1762/63)5 and "Nuruosmaniye Library" (1755) are outstanding examples of separate Ottoman library buildings.
The most beatiful library with a separate building is the famous "Enderun Library" or the "Library of Ahmet III." (1719) in the Courtyard of Topkap² Palace6. Sultan Ahmet, who reigned during the "Tu lip Age" (1718 1730), which is characteristic for westernization and reforms in cultural life such as the foundation of the first Printing House in Istanbul, was very fond of books.
The Library, which is a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture, does not serve as a library any more.
The outer walls of the building are clad with marmor slabs. The inner walls are covered with beatiful blue china tiles. The dome and the vault are decorated in an artistic style. There are many cab inets for books which are set into the niches between windows. They are covered with silver wire to let in air circulation. The door and windows are marvellous examples of carpentry inlaid with moth er of pearl7.
Another example of a beautiful library building, which is also a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture is the "Ayasofya Library" (1739/1740) built by Sultan Mahmut I.8. It is built in Ayasofya Mosque b etween two stanchions. It has a bronze door of extraordinarily beautiful lattice work. The walls are inlaid with exquisite china tiles, especially a panel composed of beautiful china tiles is inval uable. In the reading room there used to be gold laid cushions as sitting facilities. The library has also beautiful cabinets for books and a separate room for books. It has traces of baroque style .
A distinguished example of a separate building in late baroque9 style is the "Nuruosmaniye Library in the "Nuruosmaniye K³lliye". It has 2 rooms. It is interesting to note, that the library has 2 d oors, one of which is only for the entrance of the Sultan reserved. The reading room is in the shape of a clover with many columns. The book stack is in another room with many windows for the airci rculation.
The most famous library in Istanbul concerning the manuscripts is the "S³leymaniye Library", which is a world famous manuscripts centre. It was not built as a library originally, but afterwards the buildings of 2 "Medrese"s were adapted to a library. The library houses many valuable manuscript collections of Turkish libraries10. As S³leymaniye Library also has a Dept. for Book Pathology and R estoration, serving for Turkish libraries, it was necessary that it should have a separate building for this purpose. The building of the new "Research Center for Book Pathology and Restoration Cent er for Manuscripts and Rare Books" will soon be completed. It is designed as a restitution model of an Ottoman Kiosk, which stood formerly in the same garden.
Another important library from the Ottoman Empire Era is the Beyaz²t State Library (1882)11. It is a good example of a building (originally a kitchen for the poor people of Beyaz²t K³lliye) adapted i nto a library. The historical building of the Highschool of Dentistry next to the Beyaz²t Library is also converted into a modern library building. Thus both buildings serve as a depository library with many facilities for the users. It is a typical example of a classical library in 3 parts: 1. Administration, 2. Facilities for users, 3. Bookstack. Books are shelved in multitierstacks.
An example of a commercial building converted into a library is the "Simkenhane Han"12 where gold thread was manufactured. City (Public) Library of Istanbul is situated in this building, which is not a functional building.
The typical characteristics of the library buildings of the Ottoman Era are:
Many of these old historical buildings are still used as libraries: Public and children's libraries, manuscript libraries etc. Generally they are unsuitable for modern library usage. They have also heating, ventilating, humidity, fire protection and security problems. Restoration is often very expensive.
Especially in the field of university libraries the trend is to establish central libraries on a university campus as opposition to the numerous faculty or seminar libraries scattered all over the ci ties. Also there is a tendency to build modern functional public libraries.
The building of the Turkish National Library and the Turkish Grand National Assembly were built in this period.
Interior of the building is decorated with pink marbles, soft carpets and comfortable furniture.
It is estimated that it would house a collection of 3.000.000 items. The building has extension possibility. 1200 users can use the library in the same time. In 1993 a very modern printing plant i s also built in the library. It is the largest library building in Turkey. It has also parking facilities and a beautiful garden surrounding the building. As a national and a depository library the building houses the richest collection in Turkey.
The Middle East Technical University Library (METU) was a pioneer in the field of university libraries on a campus in Ankara (1967)18. Afterwards
Hacettepe University Beytepe Central Library and Bilkent University Central Library followed the same pattern.
The METU Library consists of 2 buildings and an additional building with 5 floors. It has been estimated that it would house 5.00.000 books and facilities for 2000 students19. It has open access an d a separate reserve area. The Library has a total space of 12058m2 for usage. It has extension possibilities.
Hacettepe University Beytepe Central Library20 (1977) has an open plan and is built according to the modular system and the principle of flexibility. There are about 77.000 vols. in open shelving. The Library has a total space of 5570m2. It is in the middle of the campus and very easy to reach. It has extension possibilities.
Bilkent University21 was established in 1986 on a campus. The present library building is converted into a library. As the University is growing rapidly an additional building is constructed. Alto gether the library will be have a total space of 13.890m2 with reading area, conference hall, open shelving and facilities for users and the staff. It is a monumental but a functional building. The lay out of the library is modern. The brief was prepared in close cooperation of the librarian and the architect.
In Istanbul the Bo-aziþi University Library22 is built on the North Campus of the University in 1982. It is a very modern building with a light well in the middle. The Library has a capacity t o house 300.000 vols. The inner decoration and lay out is designed in modern style.
|stanbul University has 2 library buildings: One of them is the older building established 1924 in a "Medrese", which is an example of the I. Architecture Period23 in Turkey. It houses in the presen t the rich manuscript and rare book collection of the Y²ld²z Palace. There are valuable bookstacks in the Library, which are said to be made by the Sultan as a hobby. In 1987 the new library build ing24 was inaugurated. The modern collection is in the new library, which has 6 floors (3 underground). It has a total space of 8500m2. It has a light well in the middle of the reading facilities. It is a depository library and the books are shelved on multitierstacks. Being situated in the centre of the City, the Library has limited extension possibility and the traffic noise is a problem. The lay out of the Library is in modern style. It is a typical example of a Central University Library with many small libraries scattered in the City.
The Marmara University (1983) is a typical example of a traditional University with numerous departments, faculties all over the City25. It is extremely difficult to administer a Central Library. T he present Central Library has no room to work properly. Fortunately it will move to the new Campus in a modern library building very soon.
Anadolu (Eskinehir), 19 May²s (Samsun), Ãukurova (Adana), F²rat (Elaz²-), Erciyes (Kayseri), Atat³rk (Erzurum), Dicle (Diyarbak²r) etc. are among university libraries which have modern buildin gs.
The usual public library building is a standart project and it is applied all over Turkey regardless of the differences of the climate, environment, site, population, socio cultural and socio econom ical factors. The outer appearance is typical for an official government building. The building is not functional and unsuitable for modern public library service. It has 4 floors, facilities for users and the staff. The furniture and other equipment are usually supplied from the State Supply Office. In 1992 the prisoner carpenters of the Ankara (Open) Prison produced modern library furnit ure for the public libraries. The library furniture catalogues of german and english libraries were adapted.
The result was satisfactory. Especially children's furniture for children's departments were appreciated both by parents and children. It is a good solution as western furniture is not suitable for the anthropometric characteristics of Turkish people.
In 1992 the General Directorate chose 3 public libraries in Ankara, Mersin and Antalya as a pilot project28. These libraries were decorated in a modern way, pre school age children's depts. with toy s etc. were designed and attractive conference rooms for interesting cultural activities were organized. Bright colours were used in interior layout. Also a room for local history collection was d ecorated with typical local cultural products such as kelims, carpets etc. was found to be very attractive. As a result both children and adults frequented the libraries.
Municipalities and private people sometimes want to build a library or they want to donate a building. They are accepted if they seem to be suitable for the purpose. Usually the name of the donator is given to the library which stimulates many people.
The |stanbul Metropolitan Municipality Atat³rk Library is a significant building in the style of an old Turkish house29, which is reorganized as a public library. It has 3 floors and the entrance is on the 3rd. floor. It is not designed for open shelving, the book stack has a capacity of 500.000 vols.
Different types of buildings are still adapted into library buildings according to the standards of modern librarianship.
Starting with library automation is a problem in many libraries with old buildings because of the installation of technical devices.
There are various firms which started to manufacture modern office furniture and library furniture, which would change the interior of libraries soon.
Lighting and airconditioning are usually not problematic but heating is a great problem, especially in public libraries because of the high costs.
Book detection systems in some libraries reduced the number of stolen items.
Fire protection is done by fire alarms, extinguishers, and modern detection systems.
Some new library buildings are still being built in the classical 3 parts system, which limits the quality of service, and produces boarders between users and librarians.
Recreation areas are still looked upon as luxory by many librarians.
To build a Students' Library Centre in the library is not appreciated generally.
The topic of "Library Buildings" is taken into the curriculum recently, in Turkish Library Schools, which is a good sign that young Turkish librarians will be able to have power on the planning of th eir libraries in the future.