UK publishers seeking ties at 31st Istanbul Book Fair
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Emma House says raising awareness of British books and publishing in Turkey is their objective.Ahead of the upcoming London Book Fair in 2013, where Turkey will be the guest of honor, The Publishers Association U.K. is visiting the ongoing 31st Istanbul Book Fair, seeking to establish cultural and trade ties between the publishing industries of the two countries.
“We have brought with us a range of publishers from academic to children’s, education, fiction and nonfiction. This is exposing books in the English language to the general public. However we also have a strong aim to offer translation rights to Turkish publishers as well as attract booksellers and distributors of English language books from a business-to-business perspective. Overall, raising awareness of British books and publishing in Turkey is our objective,” Emma House, the trade and international director of The Publishers Association U.K., told the Hürriyet Daily News.
The London Book Fair’s hosting Turkey as the Market Focus country next year is a highlight of cultural, professional and diplomatic exchange, according to House, who considers this event a spark for flourishing mutual trade opportunities as well as a chance for learning, understanding and respect for each other’s cultures to build trusting business relationships. “During the London Book Fair, Turkish writers will have the spotlight on them in the press and in the British community. A cultural program curated by the British Council of writer and cultural activities both in the lead up to and after the fair with British writers coming to Turkey and Turkish writers coming to the U.K. will ensure a sustained commitment to building cultural and business relations through trust and engagement,” she said.
‘Huge and exciting project’
“The book fair is a wonderful place to explore opportunities for collaborations. We heard about digital publishing in Turkey as well as about the FATİH project. We hope that British content will be considered for this huge and exciting project,” House said, adding that the Turkish Culture Ministry had invited seven British commissioning editors from British publishing houses to show them a range of Turkish writers and publishers with the objective of encouraging more books from Turkey to be translated into English.
The Movement to Increase Opportunities and Technology (FATİH) project seeks to integrate computer technology into Turkey’s public education system. The project was launched in February with the delivery of tablet PCs and smart boards to 52 schools across Turkey. According to plans, the FATİH project will enable teachers instantly to access any document around the world they may need for their class, projecting it on the interactive smart board. The project will also facilitate long-distance learning programs while encouraging a gradual transition to e-textbooks and other electronic-learning materials for each class.
The Publishers Association is quite impressed with what they have seen at the Istanbul Book Fair, which they are attending for the first time.
“It is an incredible, vibrant space for the public to buy books. The range of publishing houses and books from Turkey is vast, and [it is] wonderful to see all of them under one roof. It’s hugely encouraging to see so many people in one place interested in and buying books,” House said, adding that they saw great business opportunities in Turkey and they would like to see many more professionals attending the fair, like booksellers, librarians and editors who might be interested in British books.