The Great Turkish Library is Turkey’s oldest English-language library. 

It was opened in 1979 by Yalin Agca, who saw a gap in the market for the growing English-speaking population in the city, as well as increasingly book-hungry tourists. 

Originally the library occupied a ground floor shop in the west of the city but has since grown and now occupies a three-story building in the heart of Istanbul. 

It’s not just our building which has grown. We began only stocking English-language books focused on Turkey but now have a vast collection of titles covering everything you could imagine, with extensive catalogues.

Since the mid-90s, our library has used the Dewey Decimal System to catalogue our books. You can learn more about the system here.

Yalin continued to run the library until 2012, when Erdi Agca, his daughter, took over from him.