Old lodge now a library .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - One of Istanbul's forgotten corners, the Turabi Baba lodge and mausoleum has been renovated and turned into a library. The lodge features a modern library, a computer lab and a collection of historic documents about Beyoğlu.

Turabi Baba lodge and mausoleum in Istanbul's Kasımpaşa district has been renovated by the Beyoğlu Municipality on Istanbul’s European side and will re-open as the Turabi Baba Library.

One division of the modern library will collect all types of documents about old Beyoğlu, one of the first settled districts in the city, under the name "The memory of Beyoğlu."

The lodge building, founded by Ottoman seaman and Kadiri Sheikh Mehmet Turabi at the end of the 1700s, was used as a barracks and an arsenal during the invasion of Istanbul in 1918.

After the lodges and hermitages were shut down, the lodge served as a club building and went down in history as one of the first places Ataturk’s "Address to youth" was read.

The building was neglected after a fire in 1975 and collapsed. Only the mausoleum was intact before the renovation.Beyoğlu renovated the building over two years and remained true to the original in preparation for it to be opened to the public. The library has capacity for 10,000 to 12,000 books, a computer lab with 20 computers and "The memory of Beyoğlu" collection featuring documents, photographs, films and posters about the historic neighborhood.

Ahmet Misbah Demircan, mayor of Beyoğlu, said they were happy about renovating an old monument and putting it to service for the neighborhood’s youngsters.

Demircan said as part of the Istanbul 2010 The European Capital of Culture activities the restoration of the old structure sought to improve urban culture in people’s minds. "From this perspective, this place is a good example. We have renovated a historic building," he said, and added the place would be an important cultural center for the neighborhood’s youth.

Demircan called on people to donate historic documents they have about Beyoğlu for the "The memory of Beyoğlu" collection.

Neighborhood where prime minister grew up

Demircan said Kasımpaşa was the neighborhood where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan grew up and Erdoğan visited the library during the renovation and expressed his admiration.

Demircan said the restoration of the mausoleum would be complete in a month and the prime minister would attend the official opening.