World Bulletin / News Desk
The historic Rami Artillery Quarters, built in the 1770s in Eyup district on the European side of the city, will be converted into a library with a capacity of 7 million books.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the project last week during a fast-breaking dinner in the capital Ankara. The project is also mentioned in the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s election manifesto.
“We are making efforts to encourage our generation to [read] books,” Erdogan said at an event in Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul on Sunday.
Coskun Yilmaz, provincial director of culture and tourism, said: "The plan is to construct Turkey's biggest library and book valley. Once [the project is] completed it will also be a candidate for the biggest library in the world."
The library will have reading rooms, exhibition halls, cafes, cinemas, and stores.
"There will be spaces inside where visitors can sit and spend long hours,” Yilmaz said.
The library will host a section for children and collectors, and hold books on art and the city.
A museum will tell visitors the history of books starting from the invention of paper, said Yilmaz.
The parking lot will have capacity of 1,250 vehicles.
The project, expected to cost 200 million Turkish Liras [$43.3 million], will open in 2020.
Total number of libraries in Turkey reached 28,000 with over 64 million books in 2017, says TurkStat
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