‘There is a picture, no sound’ in the National Library

In the National Library, which is one of the most important archives not only in Turkey but also in the world, with 1.5 million works in it, computers were removed and monitors that nobody knew how to use were put in their place. Evaluating the change that made it difficult to access the book, writer and critic Necip Tosun said, “Even the personnel on duty were not trained in usage. They just stand as decoration. It is surprising that access to the book has become so difficult in this period when the interest in the library has decreased.”


A scandalous change was made in the National Library, which was put into service almost a century ago and has been the ‘cultural memory’ of Turkey for 70 years. It turned out that in the library, which is one of the most important archives in Turkey as well as in the world, computers that cannot even be used by the officers in charge have been replaced by modern computers used for book searches. Writer and critic Necip Tosun, who shared the images of the change on his social media account, said, “They removed the normal computers to search for books in the National Library. Because it breaks fast. Now they have bought different computers that are not broken and that no one, including the officers, knows how to use them. They have created a beautiful decor. The issue has been resolved,” he said. Necip Tosun, whom we reached by phone after his sharing, evaluated the scandalous change to KARAR.

Stating that the works sought by previous computers are easily found in the library, Tosun said, “This is one of the most important libraries not only in Turkey but also in the world. When I went to the library, I encountered these new computers for the first time. I wanted to use it but they were all turned off. I tried to use one of the computers by turning it on, but since it was very difficult to use, I asked the officers on duty for help. They couldn’t help because they didn’t know how to use it either. I asked a few more people, but no one was able to use it,” he said. Noting that the new computers are more like cash dispensers, Tosun said, “The officers on duty told the authorities that they could not use them. But these demands were left unanswered, the computers stood where they were, and no one questioned them. There is neither an instruction manual nor a recipe method.

It is a huge mistake not to give information to the officials,” he said. Stating that the interest in libraries has gradually decreased compared to the past, Tosun said, “Libraries are already empty. Not many people go except those who do research. Those who go also use it to study, no one reads a book. In such a period, it is surprising to see that access to the book is made difficult.”


The National Library, which is Turkey’s largest archive library and was established in 1946, is one of the most important libraries not only in Turkey but also in the world. While approximately 700 thousand people receive service from the National Library, which is the ‘cultural memory’ of Turkey, an average of 800 thousand people annually benefit from the library services offered on the internet. The library, which is updated every year and has a total of 110 thousand registered members and a user capacity of 1,357 people in 9 reading halls, is not just librarianship; It also comes to the fore with its works within the scope of publishing, restoration and conservation, digitization, cultural and international events and social responsibility. There are 1 million 410 thousand printed books, 27 thousand 796 manuscripts, 255 thousand volumes of periodicals with an estimated number of 10 million, 134 thousand 611 non-book materials in 32 different types, and a 26 thousand 362 reel microfilm collection in the National Library collections. In the manuscript collections, there are also very important works such as “Muradname”, which is the first encyclopedic work belonging to the Ottoman Empire and written in 1428, “Saltuk-name” written by Ebu’l-Hayr Rumi, and “Macera-yı Mah” written by Udi. taking.

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