One of the main projects of TÜRKTAV, which was established to develop various projects in the field of Turkish history and culture, is Otrar Turkish World Digital Library. The preservation, transfer to future generations and making them available for use, such as manuscripts, documents and maps, which are an important part of our cultural heritage and have historical value, constitute an important place among foundation projects. Otrar, the birthplace of the philosopher and mathematician Al-Farabi, not only is one of the most famous cities on the Silk Road, but also has one of the largest libraries of the period. For this reason, Otrar has been determined as the name of the digital library. Otrar Turkish World Digital Library aims to establish national and international collaborations both to establish a physical and digital library and to develop the library's collection in order to provide resources to researchers, scientists and the whole world on Turkish history, culture, traditions and customs, literature and language.

Otrar Turkic World Digital Library's materials more than 30 including Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, China, Mongolia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Saha Yakut, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Russia, Hungary, England, France, Italy It was obtained from auctions in the country, various publishing houses, private archives of individuals, universities and public institutions. In this respect, the library has close to 110,000 materials in various languages, most of which are rare or out of copyright. The majority of these materials consist of books, magazines, newspapers, reports, maps, albums, engravings and documents. Although the majority of our archive is digital, we also have a physical library with 4,000 books consisting of rare works. This archive is growing day by day with mutually signed cooperation memorandums, purchases and donations.

The Foundation has signed memorandums with state institutions such as the Association of Libraries of Higher Education Institutions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the National Academic Library of the Republics of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the International Silk Road and Cultural Heritage University of Uzbekistan, and the Almaty Central Libraries Systems Presidency. Within the framework of the Memorandum, the parties will ensure that works that are an important part of our cultural heritage and of historical value are transferred to digital media, stored and put into service. The parties also agreed within the scope of joint projects and activities on the production, dissemination and exchange of publications related to common Turkish historical and cultural values, and the creation, maintenance and continuous improvement of all kinds of access opportunities to them. Negotiations regarding cooperation agreements that we will sign with libraries of other countries are continuing.


During the advanced Middle Ages, Southern Kazakhstan, where the Otrar oasis is located, became one of the largest centers of Kazakhstan's urban civilization. More than 60 settlements, the ruins of castles and towns, and the traces of a strong and widely branched irrigation system can serve as examples of how advanced the economic and cultural development of the oasis is.

According to archaeological data, the chronological boundaries of life in Otrar stretch from IV-VI to XVII—XVIII centuries. Thus, the earthen hill of the castle has witnessed Otrar's history of nearly half a millennium, as evidenced by the written sources rich in historical events. In addition, Otrar, the city where the great Turkish philosopher Farabi was born, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998. Otrar Library in Otrar was the second largest library after the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, hosting the largest number of books. According to the works of Rûzbehân and Benâî, Otrar manuscripts reached the city of Sighnâk in the 15th century and gifted to Shaybani Khan. (Source: Mihmân-nâme-i Buhârâ: History of the Sultanate of Muhammad Shaybani Khan (IX. and X. Century). Uzbek SCB Sciences Manuscripts Institute, № 5885, p. 75 б; Şeybânî-nâme. Uzbek SCB Sciences Manuscripts Institute, № 8841. p. 8а.).