Established in 1924 as "İstanbul Darülfunun Merkez Kütüphanesi", this library was the first university library in Turkey. The Yıldız Palace Library collection was added to this librray in 1925. It has since been further enriched with donations ans purchases, and has become a major academic research center. Pursuant to the Depository Law on Printed Materials (1934), on of each of the five copies of all written and printed works published in Turkey and collected by the government is submitted to the librray.
The library holds over 400,000 volumes of printed books, as well as 30,000 theses and 15,421 perodicals, and sits 800 people. The library has been in its present building near the Beyazıt Square since 1981; its former building now houses the Museum and Rare Books section of this library which contains a total of 18,606 manuscripts (9,943 in Turkish, 6,967 in Arabic, and 1,615 in Persian, 81 in other languages).