The manuscript collections in Turkey are abundant. Based on my personal experience I will be sharing some useful information regarding the site yazmalar.gov.tr and the libraries of Konya.

Turkey and Yazmalar.gov.tr
Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism maintains an extremely useful manuscript site at the following aptly titled link:
The site can be navigated in Turkish, Arabic, and English. At present the site has a searchable catalog containing the listings for many manuscript library collections from around Turkey. Many of the listed manuscripts have been scanned and made available for preview on the site. The preview folios are reduced in size and covered with a large watermark. However, registered users of the site can purchase directly digital copies of any of the currently scanned manuscripts at full size and without watermark. First, a user must first create an account. Then, credits may be purchased at the rate of 1 Turkish Lira for 1 credit. Payment is made online via VISA or MasterCard. A single credit may be used to obtain 1 scanned folio page.  Once you have purchased a page, you can download that same page again without incurring further cost. When purchasing credits for the site, a page pops up but disappears too quickly to read (at least on Chrome) before moving onto the next page where you input your card’s information.  For those curious the page reads (as of March 2012):

To move forward, please read the instructions below carefully,
1. enter your 16 digit credit card number to the first field
2. enter the expiration date of your credit card to the second field
3. enter the 3 digit security number that is located on the back of your credit card to the third field.
4. the amount of money in ytl (new turkish liras) is written in the 4th field
5. enter your email adress to the 5th field
6. After filling all the fields, submit the form by clicking the “Gönder” button.
7. your process will be accepted or rejected by the bank. do not close the page, you will be redirected to the related page
8. check your quota. if it is increased, your loading is successfully completed.
9. if your quota didn’t increase,
you migth entered your credit card information wrong,
your credit card limit might be insufficient,
your credit card expiration date might pass,
please contact with your bank and try again later.

The director and staff (yazmalar@kultur.gov.tr) of the site can be contacted directly (email correspondence can be in English) to request that manuscripts listed in the catalog but not yet available online be digitized and sent to you. When I submitted my request I was informed that a CD would be created and would be shipped to me. It did not appear that sending me the digitized files online was an option at the time (2010). I was requested to pay the usual manuscript price plus international shipping (In 2010 the quoted cost was 56.20 TL) and provided with the Ministry’s bank account information to make the payment.  However, I informed them that I was travelling to Istanbul within a couple of months and could pick up and pay for the CD at the Süleymaniye Library to save on shipping.  This was done successfully.

Unfortunately, not all manuscript collections in Turkey are included. The collections held at the Süleymaniye for instance are not searchable on the yazmalar website.


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