Turkish publishing industry on the rise, says chairman

Turkish publishing industry on the rise, says chairman

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Turkish publishing industry on the rise, says chairman

Turks read an average of 7.5-8 books per year and Turkey is 13th globally by way of gross revenue gained from the book publishing sector. AA photo

Turk read an average of 7.5-8 books per year, according to the Federation of Professional Associations of Publishers (YAYFED) Chairman Bayram Murat, who always ensures his attendance as a speaker at the annual Istanbul Book Fair.

Turkey is 13th globally by way of gross revenue gained from the book publishing sector, he said, adding that each year these figures remain constant. Murat also said this year they are expecting that the TÜYAP Book Fair to be better than former years. 

Noting that first two days of the fair experienced an increase in visitor numbers compared to last year, Murat said the rise equated to about a 20 percent increase, a positive indicator of the industry’s future in Turkey. “We do not know how this will evolve within 9 days. But we can say that this year will be very positive in terms of visitor attraction.”

Murat added that the fairs are crucial to the sector and for the publishers. “Currently we can say that publishers, visitors and readers are satisfied, especially given that the situation improves each year, with banderole figures increasing to 275 million,” he added. Banderoles, tax labels for media products such as books and CDs, are provided by for use on nearly every book in Turkey, according to Murat.

Banderoles increasing each year

When we look at the last year’s banderole figure there were 250 million units produced compared to this year’s 175 million, attesting to an increase. “By the end of the year, we expect an increase of 10 percent,” he said.

The publishing market has undergone a substantial amelioration, along with an increase in productivity over the three years, Murat claimed: “This is also one of the amelioration processes that are a result of Turkey’s economic situation.” 

“The government is much related to the culture industry currently and this reflects in results being produced, and opening new doors to allow for the bettering of the publishing sector,” he said.

Stating that Turkey has yet to reach the saturation point like in Europe or the U.S.A, Murat said places like the U.S. and Europe have witnessed a leap forward by way of electronic publishing: “Electronic publishing in Turkey, conversely, is still evolving and developing [compared to the European and American market].”

“Some counterfeit books are available online, digitally, however, this does not in any way affect our sales,” he said, asserting that the situation is on the mend.

Murat also gave information on book reading figures in the developed countries, saying: “Developed countries seem to outdo Turkey with literacy and reading rates higher than ours.”

Reading increasing in Turkey

“However, still we cannot say Turkey is in a bad situation. 7 or 8 books are read by the average person a year. This is a high figure in comparison to a third world country. 

This year the 32nd International Istanbul Book Fair welcomes 650 publishers and scores at the TÜYAP Fair and Convention Center in Büyükçekmece.

China is the country of honor for the event at the International Hall between Nov. 2 and 5. More than 100 publishers from China will be featured in the fair, and events will be held with prominent names in Chinese literature. At the same time, representatives from the country’s publishing industry will meet with Turkey publishers to explore possible business opportunities. Events organized by the People’s Republic will include interviews, panel discussions, calligraphy workshops, professional meetings and an exhibition.

The international section in Hall 12 will host 200 publishers, copyright agencies and publishers’ associations from 40 countries.