The first publishing house in Turkey was established by the Jews in the year 2949 and the first book which is considered to be an interpretation of the Old Testament was published in the very same year. However, the first real Turkish publishing house was opened in 1729. The first publication was a Turkish- Arabic dictionary called “Lugat-i Vankuli”, and this was followed by various publications. The first private publishing house was the one which published the newspaper “Ceride-i Havadis” in 1840.
In the period until the first establishment of a public house, books were handwritten and copied by writing. In the flourishment era of the Ottomans (15th- 17th Centuries) the fact that the scientists gathered in Istanbul and some important centers of science like Bursa, Amasya and Manisa has increased the copies of handwritten products in these centers. With this heritage it has gained, Turkey has been the richest country in terms of the number of handwritten works. Still there are 300000 handwritten works. The researchers in various parts of use these in scientific researches.
Only 20000 woks have been published in the era from the first establishment of a publishing house in 1729 until the adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1928; however, the number of publishments has excessed 200000 in the following 50 years. Considering the fact that this number increased even furthermore in the recent years, it may be concluded that the adoption of republic and the principles of Ataturk effected the intellectual life of the country greatly.
The number of the publishers listed in the ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
is 9784, the number of books reserved in ISBN reached 151411 and ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) increased to 4950. In the year 2003 the number of compiled books is 15486 and the publishings is 2403. In Turkey there is a 900 year-old library tradition. In the first years of the Ottomans the libraries took place within some institutions like the mosques, tombs, schools and instutions. Although they were within some associations in terms of the management, they emerged as different instutions in time. In this respect, the first library is the one established in Istanbul in 1968 by Koprulu Fazil Ahmet Pasa, called the “Koprulu Library”. As Anadolu grew up, many libraries were founded throughout the Anatolia. Some of these, which were sustained via the associations founded by the political or religious leaders are still alive today. "Kutuphane-i Osmaniye" (Library of the Ottomans), which is still in service today called "Beyazit Devlet Kutuphanesi" is the first library founded by the government in the Ottomans.
A cultural department was established within the Ministry of Education after the establishment of Turkish Great National Assembly government, and all the libraries have been depended on this department. With the law on uniting all the institutions of education, all the libraries of associations have been attached to this department. The National Library, still providing services in Ankara was established in 1946. Three universities have established the department of librarianship and have stated to provide education in both undergraduate and graduate levels since 1954.
The number of the folk, children and handwritten works in the libraries within the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and rendering services attached to the Libraries and Publications General Directorate has reached 1435 by the end of 2003. 22535124 people have used the books, the number of which is 12679194 in these libraries. There are also libraries in the schools of all levels and universities which can’t benefit from public libraries for some reasons and which are away from the centers of the cities.
The “Library Automation Project” has been prepared to pass the cultural accumulation to the users via the public libraries in line with the technological improvements in short time and in an effective way, and the studies are still on the way named under the title e-KGM.
The projects of PULMAN and PULMAN-XT, prepared under the 6th Framework Program of the European Union foresee the usage of computer and internet in the public libraries to strengthen the performance of public libraries in the information society. The aforementioned project has been implemented in Turkey, the pilot libraries have been chosen and the project has been complemented technically.
A new project called CALIMERA has started following the PULMAN Project within the 6th Framework Program of the European Union. This project aims to provide better access to the information and education resources, to develop new education methods in the areas of culture and learning, providing access to the technological tools of the information society for everyone and everywhere to reach the goal of a sound infrastructure by producing developed intelligence systems, covering Europe as well, and turning the local cultural institutions into better institutions. www.mkutup.gov.tr