Handbooks on Turkey distributed to world
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
The handbooks on Turkey have approximately 160 pages with many visuals and they can be easily read during a short trip. AA photoThe Culture and Tourism Ministry has been hard at work since 2005 attempting to fill what was once a large gap in the promotion of Turkey abroad. A series of handbooks on the unique, East-meets-West travel destination that are prepared by the Culture and Tourism Ministry work to contribute to Turkey’s promotion in many platforms on an international level.
“These easily carried handbooks have been created especially for Turkey’s promotion abroad. These books also prevented some countries from laying claims to cultural accumulation of Anatolian region,” Culture and Tourism Ministry Libraries and Publications Deputy General Director Ümit Yaşar Gözüm said, speaking to Anatolia news agency.
Promotion is a necessary to draw people’s attention to Turkey, but can require a large budget and a lot of time, Gözüm said. “But promotion with handbooks has been recognized all around the world as an effective way.”
About three to five books have been published every year since 2005 as part of the project, according to Gözüm, who said the ministry’s goal was to expose the international tourism community to Turkish culture, art and literature with the books.
“Our books have approximately 160 pages and they can be easily read during a short trip. There are many visuals in the books. In this way, they raise people’s awareness of the country. We know that people who visit Turkey for travel purposes leave with very positive impressions thanks to these books,” he said.
Gözüm said that 5,000 to 10,000 editions of each book were printed every year and most often sent to book fairs. “With the request of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and other relevant institutes, we can also use these books to promote Turkey in international meetings. I must say that they receive big interest.
We know that as well as the experts of any field, people of a certain level of education also need information. This need should be absolutely met within the scope of the countries’ promotional programs. This series have been prepared with this goal and estimate that we have used nearly 200,000 books in various parts of the world for Turkey’s promotion and got positive results.”
Most books are written in English
He said that most of the books were written in English by renowned authorities in their specific field but some of them are translated from Turkish. Gözüm said that some countries tried to lay claims on some cultural values of Anatolia.
“Among these values are Nasreddin Hodja, Karagöz or some mythological stories. The origin of these is Anatolia and mythology does not only belong to Greek geographical areas. There are some mythologies rooted in the western part of Turkey as well as in the Aegean and Mediterranean region.
The public opinion should know about this. We can inform a mass of people of this fact and create a new image,” Gözüm said.
The handbooks have made a great contribution to the cultural promotion of Turkey and have been put on sale for tourists in gift shops at museums and ancient sites such as Çatalhöyük, Göbeklitepe, Selimiye, Topkapı and Hagia Sophia, Gözüm said.
“Tourists carry these books during their visit. The handbook series is one of the most important publication policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.
Gözüm noted that 15 books in the series had been published so far on Atatürk, Turkish coffee, Karagöz, Nasreddin Hodja, abstract cultural heritage and other topics. Five books on Pamukkale, historic places in Istanbul, Selimiye Mosque, Nemrut Mountain and Cappadocia are also being prepared for publication.