Data reveals black market’s bestselling books last year
Some 220,000 pirated books were seized in 2012 in 29 Turkish provinces and a total of 5 million Turkish Liras were collected in the raids, according to data from the Union of Press and Publishers. A total of 5 million Turkish Liras were collected in the raids, according to BASYAYBİR. DHA photo
Nazan Bekiroglu’s “Nar Ağacı” (The Pomegranate Tree) has topped a somewhat dubious list, being named the most pirated work in Turkey over the past year by the Professional Union of Press and Publishers (BASYAYBİR).
According to data from the union, which conducts operations against pirated books throughout Turkey, 220,000 pirated books were seized in 2012 in 29 provinces.
A total of 5 million Turkish Liras were collected in the raids, according to BASYAYBİR.
During the operations, police discovered a number of books that were about to be published. A number of publishing machines were also confiscated from the premises targeted in the operations.
Bekiroğlu’s book, which is set between Tabriz, Baku Tbilisi, Batumi, Trabzon and Istanbul, was the most pirated book, followed by Turkish writer İskender Pala’s famous book “Efsane” (Legend) and Amin Maalouf’s “Les Désorientés.”
Books from Yaşar Kemal, who has become one of Turkey’s most famous writers thanks to decades of work, are also some of the most pirated titles. The author’s personal “bestseller” in terms of pirated works is “Çıplak Deniz, Çıplak Ada” (Naked Sea, Naked Island).
The fifth most pirated work is E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Gray,” which was published by Pegasus Publishing house.
Speaking about the operations and the current situation in the pirated book industry, BASYAYBİR Contra-Pirate Book Industry Manager Muharrem Kaşıtoğlu said: “There are two important concepts in the book publishing industry: bestsellers and long sellers. The pirates were only into publishing the bestsellers in the past. The four-month bestsellers were finite, and cases like this were not seen very much.”
Now, however, people in the industry are more interested in selling long sellers, Kaşıtoğlu said. “Works like classics are among those long-selling pirated books,” he said, adding that there were about 500 long-selling titles that were typically pirated.
More than 220,000 pirated books
“BASYAYBİR seized more than 220,000 books, and the income from them is 5 million Turkish Liras. The loss of the tax for the government out of this piracy is approximately 1.5 million,” said Kaşıtoğlu.
The manager said such books often find their way into stores. “This is very wrong, as it is giving support to piracy and giving support with logistics.”
Piracy operations are set to continue in an effort to protect publishing houses under BASYAYBİR. The most important thing is to ensure that intellectual property rights are enforced to the same standard that they are in the European Union, according to Kaşıtoğlu.
Kaşıtoğlu said International Royalty Association Federation (IFFRRO) President Olav Stokkmo had even witnessed the reality of the pirate industry in Turkey since an operation was conducted while he was in the country. Another issue for the industry is digital royalty rights, he said, noting that relevant bodies had been gathering to discuss the digital age as well as digital copying.
The operations were conducted in Istanbul, Trabzon, Ordu, Samsun, Sivas, Adıyaman, Şanlıurfa, Mersin, Konya, Balıkesir, İzmir, Manisa, Kütahya, Ankara, Sakarya, Erzincan, Hakkari, Bursa, Düzce, Antalya, Adana, Hatay, İskenderun, Çorlu, Amasya, Kocaeli, Ayvalık and Tarsus.
Bestsellers of the pirate industry
Nar Ağacı (The Pomegranate Tree) - Nazan Bekiroğlu
Efsane (Legend) - İskender Pala
Les Désoriantes - Amin Maalouf
Çıplak Deniz, Çıplak Ada (Naked Sea, Naked Island) - Yaşar Kemal
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James
Let the Devil Sleep - John Verdon
Think of a Number - John Verdon
Shop on Blossom Street - Debbie Macomber