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BOOKS > Interest in Turkish series boosts enthusiasm for Turkish novels

ANTALYA - Anatolia News Agency

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People come to fairs to ask about books on Hürrem, says Murat Bayram. Hürriyet photo

People come to fairs to ask about books on Hürrem, says Murat Bayram. Hürriyet photo

Turkey might be a society that watches far more than it reads, but the popularity of certain TV shows has nonetheless increased interest in books, Federation of Professional Publishers Associations (YAYFED) Chairman Bayram Murat has said.

“When some of the Turkish series break ratings records, the novels that inspired the scenarios of the series also break sales records,” he said during a press conference organized by the Antalya Journalists Association to discuss the TÜYAP Antalya Book Fair, which will be organized from Feb. 13 to 17.

The book fair, the second to be organized in the Mediterranean province, is important for the artistic and cultural scene in the city, Murat said, adding that a total of 50 publishing houses would attend the fair.

“TÜYAP will be organizing its fifth fair in Diyarbakır and second in Antalya. We are also doing events to present and promote the Turkish language,” he said, adding that people around the world were buying book series to learn Turkish.

Providing an example, he said people were approaching at a book fair in Turkmenistan to ask for a book about Hürrem Sultan, a historical figure that has become famous thanks to her portrayal by Meryem Uzerli in the smash hit “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century).

“There are many works going on about the translation of the Turkish works into other languages,” he said, adding that while not many books were currently being translated into foreign tongues, the numbers would soon increase.

Speaking previously about the links between Turkish soap operas and the country’s literature, Nilüfer Narlı, a sociologist at Bahçeşehir University, said Turkey had increased its “soft power” in the Middle East and Balkan countries through such shows, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

“As the circulation of soap operas in the international arena has increased, learning Turkish language and culture have become very important in the Arab and Balkan countries. This is what we call ‘soft power’ within the context of the culture industry,” she said.

February/13/2013

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