Ankara gets Turkey’s first ever museum-library

March 14, 2011, Monday/ 16:20:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES

Ankara gained a new literary institution over the weekend when the Mehmet Akif Ersoy Literary Museum and Library, the first of seven such institutions, was inaugurated at a ceremony on Saturday.

The Mehmet Akif Ersoy Literary Museum and Library, named after Turkey’s “national poet” Ersoy, who wrote the Turkish national anthem, is located in a two-story building in Ankara’s Hamamönü, an old quarter that neighbors Hacettepe University’s Sıhhiye campus. The museum-library, run by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, will house a broad archive of books written on Ersoy and his poetry on its first floor, while the second floor will be home to a collection of books written on Ankara as well as a selection of those by writers from Ankara.

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay, speaking during Saturday’s opening, praised the efforts of the Altındağ Municipality, which “opened the building in a period of less than three months, despite winter conditions and snow,” the Anatolia news agency reported Sunday. Günay also told reporters that the museum part of the building has yet to be completed, adding: “Those shelves are still empty; many of the books that I would personally like to see on those shelves are not there yet, but this is the beginning stage. The concept of literary museum-library is band new and this is a first in Turkey.”

The museum in Hamamönü is the first of seven planned literary museums in seven provinces across Turkey, each named after a significant literary figure associated with that city. The museum in İstanbul will be named after novelist/poet Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, while the Diyarbakır museum will be named after poet Ahmed Arif. Late poet/novelist/essayist Attila İlhan will have his name given to the museum in İzmir while the museum in Trabzon will be named after artist/author/poet Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu.

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