A general view of the library of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture in İstanbul.(Photo: Ümit Oğuz Göksel)
Seeing this fact, photographer Ümit Oğuz Göksel embarked on a quest
to document İstanbul's libraries, and the results of his endeavor will
go on display on Monday at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall's foyer.
Göksel's collection “Fotoğraflarla İstanbul Kütüphaneleri”
(İstanbul's Libraries in Photographs) features snapshots from 12
libraries of the city, ranging from those built during the Ottoman era
to the most modern examples that are housed in universities.
The exhibition will run for seven days, throughout this week's 51st National Library
Week in Turkey, alongside a host of events put together by the İstanbul
branch of the Turkish Librarians Association (TKD). The March 30-April 5
program is held under the main theme “Intercultural Dialogue and
Libraries” in Turkey, while the İstanbul leg of activities will be held
under the theme “Libraries of the Future, the Future of Libraries.”
Göksel's project initially started as an ordinary commission: The
İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality asked him to take photographs of 12
libraries in the city for the 2015 Library Week. His job would be done
once he gave the municipal officials the photos they've requested. But
it turned out to be a much more detailed expedition: To take the photos,
Göksel started regularly visiting the 12 libraries, several days a week
for five months, and even made friends with veteran librarians,
establishing close ties with people who live among books.
And when his friends and relatives asked him such skeptical questions
as “Do libraries like these really exist in Turkey?” upon seeing
Göksel's photos, he decided to take matters in his own hands. Read more....