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BOOKS > Turkish culture, literature travel the world with project

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

The Culture and Tourism Ministry’s TEDA project, which aims to promote Turkish arts and culture abroad with the translation of works by Turkish writers, has been continuing with growing interest since 2005. Thanks to the project, Turkish books have gained lots of readers around the world

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Turkish books are on the shelves of bookstores in different countries.

Turkish books are on the shelves of bookstores in different countries.

Within the Translation Subvention project, (TEDA), which was initiated by the Culture and Tourism Ministry in 2005 to translate Turkish books into other languages and promote Turkish arts and culture abroad, has so far supported more than 1,300 works in 54 languages in 57 countries.

According to information provided by the ministry, the TEDA Council and Evaluation Committee, which held meetings in May and November last year, examined the applications and decided to give support to 366 works last year.

Therefore 1,350 works were supported in 54 languages and 57 countries between 2005 and 2012. Among these works, 880 have been published so far.

Also, translation workshops began to be organized with the goal of gaining new translated works and translators.

Within the TEDA project, which has been carried out for many years by countries with a rich literary accumulation, 39 works were supported in the first year in Turkey. The interest shown in the project continued in 2006. The number of countries that applied for the project increased. Among these countries were Finland, Ukraine, Brazil, Macedonia, Austria, Bulgaria, Iran, Taiwan and Russia.

The project has been accelerated with works in the field of travel, theater and history, in addition to novels and poetry. Interest in the works of classical writers and poets such as Yunus Emre, Mevlana, Ömer Seyfettin and Mehmet Akif Ersoy as well as contemporary artists and works increased. Sixty-one works were supported in 2006 within the scope of the project.

The number of applications for TEDA projects greatly increased in 2007 because of the fact that Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize in 2006 and Turkey was the guest country at Frankfurt Book Fair in 2008 as well as interest of readers in Turkish writers abroad. As a result, 202 works were supported in the same year. In 2008, 184 works were supported, 140 in 2009 and 185 in 2010.

Significant writers in the project

Turkish literature also draws great interest especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnian book lovers closely follow Turkish novels and history books that have been translated into their language. Besides the books of writers such as Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Orhan Kemal, Ayşe Kulin, Pamuk and Elif Şafak, works by well-known historians like Halil İnalcık and İlber Ortaylı are popular among Bosnian readers.

According to officials of leading Bosnian publishing houses, besides the Nobel laureate writer Pamuk, works by Ayşe Kulin, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar and Aslı Erdoğan draw great interest in the country. Pamuk’s novels “Snow” and “My Name is Red” were among the best-selling books in Bosnia.

In the same year, three novels of well-known Turkish author Orhan Kemal have been translated into Chinese under the auspices of TEDA.

Three of Kemal’s novels, “Avare Yıllar” (Idle Years), “Cemile” and “Baba Evi” (My Father’s House) were translated into Chinese as part of the project. “Bereketli Topraklar Üzerinde” (On Fertile Lands) was another book of Kemal translated into Chinese. Turkish literary works were also presented at the 19th Beijing International Book Fair last year in September for the first time. Chinese audiences had the opportunity to read books by Tuna Kiremitçi and Can Dündar as well as Kemal in their own language.

Two of his books, “72. Koğuş” (72th Cell) and “Cemile” were also released last year in Pakistan as part of the project. “72. Koğuş” and “El Kızı” (Strange Girl) will also be published in Albania as part of the project.

The 25th Tehran Book Fair also saw the introduction of the TEDA project to foreign authors, publishing houses and translators.

June/12/2013

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