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The role of Halkevi libraries in the early Turkish Republic

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jats:p The tenure of the Halkevleri (‘People's Houses’, 1932–51) spanned most of the single-party period of the early Turkish Republic (1923–46), and their work took place during a widespread public education campaign that focused on literacy, healthcare, and the construction of a national identity. In the aftermath of an alphabet reform and in the midst of a major language reform, Halkevleri libraries were tasked with helping a largely illiterate population to read and write. Their journals, bibliographies, and library instruction manuals reveal the policies (circulation, collection development, public education, and the twinned operations of publishing and archiving) that prepared these institutions to develop a readership for government propaganda. These strategies were employed to stretch literacy as far as possible throughout the halk (people), enabling community libraries to create and conserve a culture that could absorb their readers in a shared project of nation-building. </jats:p>



Turkish libraries, Halkevleri, literacy, language reform, early Turkish Republic, People's Houses, community centres

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Library and Information History

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Edinburgh University Press