Turkish writers become popular in Armenian arts and culture scene

Turkish writers become popular in Armenian arts and culture scene

YEREVAN - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish writers become popular in Armenian arts and culture scene

Works by Elif Şafak are increasingly popular in Armenia. Hürriyet photo

Turkish literature is currently very popular in Armenia. Most of the prestigious publishing houses and also the small bookstore at famous Opera Square in Yerevan contain books by Orhan Pamuk and Elif Şafak. 

Turkish authors are generally published in Armenia by the Antares publishing house, with exclusive covers. Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News, Antares Publishing CEO and Chairman of Board Armen Martirosyan said Pamuk and Şafak’s books had been translated into Armenian after an agreement made with their Turkish publishers. 

Martirosyan said they were supported by the Translation and Publication Grant Program of Turkey (TEDA) project and their cooperation was supported by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry. The basis of TEDA is subvention granted for the translation and printing of distinguished works by celebrated authors, as specified in the Directions and Application form by the ministry. 

The purpose of TEDA is to merge the Turkish cultural, artistic and literary spirit with intellectual circles abroad, and to orient people to the sources of Turkish culture, art and literature. 

Martirosyan said there were other books that would be translated. This doesn’t just involve Turkish works, he added, as Armenian works will also be translated into Turkish. 

He said both Pamuk and Şafak had been invited to Armenia as part of the Yerevan 2012 World Book Capital project, but did not reply. 

“We considered inviting them because we think cultural dialogue is very important,” Martirosyan said.

He added that when someone deals with Armenians this person attracts a lot of attention in the world, and this was particularly true as Pamuk and Şafak touched on issues related to genocide. 

About the TEDA project

With the translation support program launched by TEDA, Turkish writers have spread their influence and fame across the world. 

The support began in 2005 and started with 39 works. Among the authors whose works have been translated, Orhan Pamuk, Orhan Kemal and Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar are the most read writers of Turkish literature. 

According to TEDA, Turkish culture, arts and literature have contributed to universal culture and science, notably through the literary products that flowered in various geographies in different languages and in different styles throughout history. Both the effects of Anatolian, Mediterranean and Mesopotamian civilizations, and the cultural interrelations established both with Eastern and Western societies, have strongly influenced Turkey’s rich cultural, artistic and literary heritage.