Massive stampede occurs while arriving to book fair in Istanbul
A massive stampede occurred on the street where the 36th International Istanbul Book Fair was held in Istanbul on Nov. 11, as fairgoers broke the barriers and stopped traffic on one of the main highways in the province.
Thousands of Istanbulites and residents flooded in from other cities to come to the book fair, which opened on Nov. 4 at the TÜYAP Fair Convention and Congress Center in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district.
People who wanted to arrive at the book fair broke the barriers along the E-5 highway, one of the main roads in Istanbul, after they could not arrive by walking on the metrobus station’s overpass.
Police officers stopped traffic to prevent potential accidents and allowed numbers of people to use the highway.
Meanwhile, famous Turkish comedian Cem Yılmaz was among the guests there on Nov. 11.
Yılmaz signed his books and met his huge crowd of fans.
“The book fair is a very nice place. I meet very nice people. Here you meet your real fans, it’s a beautiful thing. Because these bright people are the real people in our work,” he said.
Long queues formed at the entrance of the congress center, even seven days after its official opening on Nov. 4.
The fair is organized by TÜYAP Fairs in partnership with the Turkish Publishers Association.
More than 800 Turkish and foreign publishers and nongovernmental organizations are taking part in this year’s fair, which hosts more than 300 events, including workshops for children, lectures by authors, and autograph sessions.
The Writer of Honor at this year’s fair is Turkish novelist Ayla Kutlu. A series of panels and events will be held on her life and works with appearances by Kutlu herself.
This year’s Guest of Honor is South Korea, who is celebrating its 36th year. South Korea’s booth was open for visits in the International Hall during the first four days of the fair until Nov. 7, promoting South Korean literature and culture.
More than half a million people visited the fair last year.