President's Message

Dear Publisher Friends,
Turkey’s biggest publishing program is opening its doors for the 7th time this year. We are organizing the Istanbul Publishing Fellowship Program for the seventh time. Despite the impact of the pandemic around the world in the past two years, İstanbul Fellowship continues to grow. We are proud with our achievements so far. The 5th İstanbul Fellowship Program, which was held in 2020, was the last international event of the publishing community. The 6th İstanbul Fellowship Program held in 2021 was the first international event after the pandemic where majority of participants attended the event in person. In 2022, the program is once again planned in a hybrid format with online and in-person participation. However, we foresee that most of our participants will prefer face-to-face meetings.
İstanbul, a city of two continents, have not only been a home to many a civilization, but also functioned as a cultural intersection in its capacity as the house and living ground of numerous cultures around the world. This copyrights summit is fast becoming one of the leading centres of the publishing world, extending the features of its home city, İstanbul.
İstanbul Publishing Fellowship Program was initiated and is being run by Turkish Press and Publishers Copyright and Licencing Society (TBYM) and Press and Publishers’ Association (BYB). This is a project based on the understanding of the universality of books and culture, targeting establishing new and strong bonds between publishers from all parts of the world. It is one of the gateways to international community for Turkish publishers as well.
Let us briefly go through the achievements of the program thus far:
The first Fellowship was held in 2016 with 17 publishers from 9 countries, where copyrights sales for the translation of 178 Turkish books were completed.
In 2017, 30 publishers from 17 countries joined the event, with the number of copyrights sales rising to 439.
The first two years of the program were limited to the members of TBYM. Starting with the third year, all publishing houses, agencies, publisher associations, publishing nongovernmental organizations and authors were invited to the event, which greatly enhanced the scope of the organization. The program is setting higher targets every year. In 2018, 209 publishers from 66 countries attended the program, taking part in more than 1700 bilateral meetings. In the third year, 533 copyrights sales were completed.
The 4th Istanbul Fellowship Program in 2018 saw almost 200 publishers from 72 countries. Together with the 95 domestic publishers, the total number of publishers attending event was close to 300, which completed the copyrights sales of more than 1000 books.
In 2020, 620 publishers from 98 countries applied to the program, and 175 publishers from 63 countries were admitted. In total, 265 publishers attended the 5th Istanbul Fellowship Program.
In 2021, the 6th Istanbul Fellowship Program was organized in a hybrid format given the pandemic restrictions. 869 publishers from 121 countries applied to the event and 359 publishers from 60 countries were granted admission. Face-to-face and online meetings were held as part of the event. The 6th Istanbul Fellowship Program was the first one where a focus country component was introduced. Azerbaijan was named the first focus country.
Another novelty in 2021 was the İstanbul Copyright Awards. 52 publishers from 26 countries nominated 661 books for the award, which was organized for the first time in 2021 with an objective of contributing to the development of the sector, enhancing cultural cooperation and promotion through encouraging copyrights sales of Turkish book for translation into other languages, encouraging copyright exchanges and rewarding success stories.
We should at this point note that Turkey has become the 10th biggest book economy in the world with over 70 thousand new titles and 700 million copies.
Aims and Objectives
Through the Fellowship Program, TBYM aims to:
• Increase cooperation among world publishers, establish new commercial relations, follow the latest developments in the publishing sector.
• Contribute to the development of many professions and organizations including copyright agencies, editors, translators, illustrators, and printing houses.
• Providing a favourable environment for publishing houses to discuss business and engage in copyright sales and turning the program into a hub which is going to be visited by the publishing houses every year.
• Turning İstanbul into a prominent actor among the copyright markets and making İstanbul a sustainable and professional copyright market taking note of its own dynamics.
İstanbul is taking sound steps towards becoming a global copyrights market representing a large market thanks to the İstanbul Fellowship Program. This development is also a perfect opportunity for world publishing sector as it will increase diversity.
Thanks to this program, we are getting closer to meeting publishers from around the world for the 7th year. We are establishing networks everywhere, in particular in the Balkans, Africa, Asia, and Europe, where our titles are appearing.
This magnificent city is becoming a gateway to world publishing with the strength it gains from it history. We are very happy to host you in İstanbul as part of the İstanbul Fellowship Program.
Mehmet Burhan Genç
Turkish Press and Publishers Copyright and Licencing Society
President of Board of Directors