TÜYAP İstanbul Book Fair highlights ‘hope’ in 30th year

September 28, 2011, Wednesday/ 16:31:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

This year’s TÜYAP International İstanbul Book Fair will be a chance for bookworms to contemplate what “hope” is -- and what it’s not -- when the annual fair unrolls its 2011 edition in November.

The fair’s 30th year, scheduled to run Nov. 12-20 at the Beylikdüzü TÜYAP Fair and Convention Center, will host Egypt, the country that gave the Arab Spring its momentum, as its guest of honor -- a fitting choice for a year when the fair calls on bookworms to reflect on “hope.”

Author and critic Ferit Edgü will be the writer of honor at this year’s fair, where publishers and copyright agencies from over 30 countries are expected to take part, said Deniz Kavukçuoğlu, the general coordinator of cultural fairs at TÜYAP Fairs and Exhibitions Organization Inc., during a news conference on Tuesday to announce the details of the event.

“We are preparing to host very important writers in this year’s fair,” he added.

With “Hope: Dream or reality?” as its main theme, the fair’s 2011 edition is special in a number of ways, as the event has added the word “international” to its title with this edition, Kavukçuoğlu said.

Egypt will be showcasing its publishing industry -- as well as its culture -- from Nov. 12-15 at the fair’s International Hall. The country will present its literature and arts through numerous guest authors and publishers.

Abderahman Salaheldin, Egyptian ambassador to Turkey, also speaking at Tuesday’s news conference, said relations between Turkey and Egypt have improved considerably, particularly in the past 30 years, adding that he believed his country being selected the guest of honor for this year’s İstanbul book fair “is no coincidence.”

“Many intellectuals, authors and publishers from Egypt will take part in the fair, including our minister of culture. [This fair] will create a certain level of awareness of Egypt’s literature and culture [in Turkey],” Salaheldin said.

Seven films from Egypt will be presented and folkdance groups will stage shows for fairgoers throughout the event. Samples of Egypt’s cuisine will also be presented, the ambassador added.

Metin Celal Zeynioğlu, the president of the Turkish Publishers Association (TYB), told reporters the TÜYAP fair held a key role in bolstering relations between countries and that Egypt being the guest of honor was significant as the country played a central role in the publishing industry across the Arab world.

“Last year’s fair drew a record 400,000 visitors,” Zeynioğlu said. “The fair’s becoming international this year is particularly important,” he added, as both this and the number of visitors the fair attracts annually help draw more authors and publishers from overseas each year.

A total of 600 Turkish and foreign publishers and nongovernmental organizations are expected to take part in this year’s fair, which will run concurrently with ARTIST 2011, the 21st İstanbul International Art Fair.

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