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Governor of Istanbul Pledges Support to International Vision in Publishing

President of Turkish Press and Publishers Copyright & Licencing Society (TBYM), Mr. Tayfur Esen; Head of International Relations Commission, Mr. Muhammed Hamidullah Ağırakça; Head of Press and Public Relations Commission, Mr. Murat Daoudov and Secretary General Ms. Melahat Boran, accompanied by the Secretary General of Press and Publishers Union, Mr. Mustafa Karagüllüoğlu, paid a thank-you visit to Istanbul Governor Mr. Vasip Şahin on July 17, 2017.

Emphasizing the importance of the support offered by Istanbul Development Agency and Governor Vasip Şahin to endeavours to open up the Turkish publication to the world and establish bridges among civilizations through publication, President Mr. Tayfur Esen explained the success and widespread participation in the 2nd Arabic Books Fair and Fellowship Programme organized by Turkish Press and Publishers Copyright & Licencing Society within the framework of the CNR Book Fair with the contributions and support of The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Istanbul Governorate and Istanbul Development Agency (İSTKA). Mr. Esen stated that the Arabic Books Fair, which brings together publishers, authors and readers of Arabic books, was first organized in 2016 in a fair area of 450 square meters with 27 booths. In 2017, according to Esen, the total fair area rose to 2.000 square meters comprising of 72 booths. The success of the fair, in other words, rose by 3 times and the latest event attracted publishers from more than 100 companies active in 14 countries.

Mr. Esen also reminded that the Fair and the Fellowship Programme were also attended by the executives of Arab Publishers’ Association, Saudi Arabian Publishers’ Association and Tunisian Publishers’ Association in addition to individual participants. During the fair, TBYM signed reciprocity agreements and cooperation protocols with Arabian Publishers’ Association and Tunisian Publishers’ Association. Mr. Esen emphasized that such relations helped TBYM to attract specific attention in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Seoul Book Fairs, where TBYM was asked to have its own booth. Mr. Esen also said that they are working towards sustaining these relations in the future.

“10 publishers from 8 countries attended the Fellowship Programme as guests of The Ministry of Culture and Tourism”, Mr. Esen said, “this created a valuable opportunity for the promotion of projects such as TEDA, KİTAPKENT and YATEDAM, which target opening up Turkish publication to the world, to about 80 publishers from 22 countries, with whom we also had copyright discussions. Whereas the copyrights of 185 books were sold during the 2016 Fellowship Programme, this number exceeded 470 in 2017. In addition, agreements were signed with 30 guest publishing houses to get the sales rights of their publications in Turkey”. Afterwards, Mr. Esen presented to Governor Şahin some sample books whose copyright sales have been completed.

Head of International Relations Commission, Mr. Muhammed Hamidullah Ağırakça underlined that the event was not only geared towards strengthening business ties, but it also provided a ground for charity works. According to Mr. Ağırakça, book vouchers worth 225.500 TL were distributed to philanthropists for more than 11.000 Syrian students in the temporary training centres in Istanbul: “Cultural activities dedicated to children and young people were organized in a special booth area of 72 square meters. 10 guests coming from different countries delivered seminars, and more than 20 cultural and artistic activities were organized for the general audience. Authors and intellectuals delivered speeches not only in the fair, but also in universities where they were invited.”

Mr. Esen also made the following remarks to inform Governor Şahin: “Our primary targets are to expand the Fellowship Programme from 2018 on to include publishers from Balkan countries, Turkic Republics, African countries and other friendly states such as Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia; to redefine the Fair concept and transform it into Afro-Eurasia Book Fair and Copyright Market; to contribute to the integration of Syrian refugees by offering them a chance to see books in their own language, their fellow authors, thinkers and speakers; to transform the fair into a fully-fledged cultural festival with autograph s
essions, conferences, panels and other activities on a traditional basis.”

 The representatives of the sector also mentioned that the booth of the Istanbul Governorate was one of the most popular; and that drawings honouring the memory of our martyrs also received widespread acclaim from the participants. The representatives of the sector offered their special thanks to the Governorate for providing a virtual representation of that heroic night, which participants experienced through 3D glasses and had a chance to fully comprehend the heroism. They also mentioned that postcards produced in memory of the July 15 martyrs and distributed free of charge during the event contributed to awareness of children.

 Governor Vasip Şahin presented a copy of the valuable publication by the Governorate honouring the memory of July 15.