"The double standard the international media organizations use in covering the incidents we have undergone in recent years is known," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the opening ceremony of the 4th Istanbul CNR International Book Fair, whose theme this year is the defeated coup of last July.
Saying that the world turned a blind eye to Turkey's glorious victory over the coup attempt, Erdogan stressed that repeatedly telling the story of what happened the night of July 15 through literature and the arts is important.
"It is the binding duty of all of us to hold onto this legacy," he said. "As always, we cannot count on the conscience or actions of others."
The July 15 defeated coup, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen and his terrorist group – the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) – left at least 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
The fair will feature an exhibition on the July 15 coup bid sponsored by Anadolu Agency. Events and panel discussion about the defeated putsch will also take place during the 10-day fair.
Lamenting statistics showing that Turkish citizens still read an average of only 10 hours a year, Erdogan said Turkish authorities are trying to boost literacy and reading.
"I believe that Turkey must be among world's top 10 not only in economics but also in culture and the arts," by 2023, the country’s centennial, he said.
According to Erdogan, the presidency is currently working on a new project to build a library and an all-purpose exhibition hall south of the presidential palace. He said the library would be open to everyone, 24 hours a day.
It will have 5 million hardcover books, including manuscripts and rare books, electronic books, periodicals, and special collections, he added.
"There are libraries across the world which leave traces, change the path of library science, and lead the nations' future," he said. "Hopefully, this presidential library will serve as a model and mark an era."