Right time for Dutch books in Istanbul, writers' agency says

Right time for Dutch books in Istanbul, writers' agency says

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Right time for Dutch books in Istanbul, writers agency says

Nermin Mollaoğlu has worked on the Turkey contracts of many Dutch writers.

The TÜYAP Book Fair made a great decision in picking the Netherlands as the guest country this year, on the 400th anniversary of ties between the two countries, as the Netherlands has been quite successful over the year not only promoting Dutch culture here but also making the bridges stronger for cooperation between both countries, according to Nermin Mollaoğlu, founder of Istanbul-based Kalem Agency.

The contractor has mediated in the translation of many Dutch writers into Turkish since being founded in 2006.

“I just cannot think of a better choice for this year’s guest country at TÜYAP,” she told the Hürriyet Daily News in a recent interview.

Traditionally, the impact of the colonial area is well observed in Dutch literature, Mollaoğlu said. “However, today, I can observe that the works by writers who migrated to the Netherlands in the past century are on the rise.”

Dutch writers are well received by Turkish readers, she said.

Many works by Cees Nooteboom, a writer close to the Nobel Prize, who was first translated into Turkish in 2002, can easily be found in Turkish bookstores.

Herman Koch, who entered the country very recently, has also reached a noteworthy number of readers.

Works by Annie M. G. Schmidt, the queen of Dutch children’s literature according to Mollaoğlu, are also reaching multiple editions.

For new newcomers to Dutch literature, she recommends Ferdinand Bordewijk.

Toon Tellegen and Marjolijn Hof are her suggestions for younger readers. The list continues with Harry Mulisch, Jan Wolkers, Arnon Grunberg, Gerbrand Bakker and Laia Fabregas.

The interest in Dutch literature in Turkey is increasing, but this is not the case for Turkish writers in the Netherlands, she added.

“Looking at the contracts we sign, I believe that more Turkish books should be translated for the Netherlands, a country very open to different cultures.”

Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet and novelist Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, both represented by Kalem, have received great interest in the Netherlands, she said.

The dealer has good news for those Dutch readers who are interested in Turkish literature.

Van Gennep, a prominent Dutch publisher, has sent a serious offer for Ece Temelkuran’s “Muz Sesleri” (Sounds of Bananas), copyrights of which have already been sold for many languages, she said. “Maybe the 400th year celebrations have already begun bearing fruit.”

She also added that Writers Unlimited, one of the leading literature events in the Netherlands, has hosted a number of Turkish authors including Aslı Tohumcu, Gündüz Vassaf and Elif Şafak. Writers Unlimited 2013 will host Temelkuran along with Amos Oz and Alberto Manguel.