Turkey has researched and contributed a great deal to an Ottoman-era library on the Greek island of Rhodes, the library's director Yusuf Kibrisli has said.
Considered to be one of the most important cultural heritages in Greece, the library was built in a castle on the island in the eastern Aegean Sea under the orders of the Ottoman Grand Vizier Hafiz Ahmet Pasha in 1793.
“From book count to classification, Turkey has contributed a lot. It has been doing all it can do,” Kibrisli told the Anadolu Agency.
The library holds least 2,500 books, 1,200 of them handwritten, with some dating back to the Seljuk Empire - a Turkish state before the coming of the Ottomans.
The library also includes a copy of Quran, which took 53 years to complete by Ottoman calligraphists in the 14th century.
The copy of Quran was brought by calligraphists to Rhodes and preserved until 1991, when it was stolen, but found again in London by European security forces.
Following its return to the Rhodian library, the copy of Quran has been put under tight security and is not available for public display.
“In the last 15 years, there is tight security at the library,” Kibrisli said.
Rhodes was under Ottoman rule between 1522-1912.
In 1992, during the Italo-Turkish War, Italian forces seized the island.
German forces later occupied it until 1945, but due to defeat in World War II, the Germans surrendered Rhodes to the British. In 1947, Rhodes was united with Greece.
There are believed to be at least 4,000 Greeks of Turkish origin on the island.