İSTANBUL BOOK FAIR IS REALISED FOR THE 37TH TIME THIS YEAR BETWEEN THE DATES OF NOVEMBER 10-18. IN THE FAIR WITH THE MAIN THEME “SURROUNDING LIFE WITH LITERATURE”, THE PEOPLE OF İSTANBUL WILL COME TOGETHER AGAIN WITH BOOKS.
Have you prepared your book lists? Have you noted the dates of writer speeches and autograph sessions? Are you ready to meet ten thousands of books of hundreds of publishing houses, in tens of halls? TÜYAP Istanbul Book Fair invites us again to smell the books, meet our favorite writers, discover brand new publising houses, get lost between the stands and come back home with a handful of books we didn’t even know we would buy.
Here’s the story of İstanbul Book Fair since 1982, with all its turning points…
In the Shadow of the Drawbacks
The story of Istanbul Book Fair, which celebrates its 37th anniversary this year, started in the shadows of the drawbacks of the publishing houses and writers, set by “80’s Military Coup”s political ambiance. When TÜYAP first opened its doors on November 13th 1982 at Istanbul Etap Marmara Hotel (nowadays The Marmara Taksim), the number of the participant publishing houses was only 28. Even though the number was low, the interest of the readers was promising. With more than 60 thousand visitors, the autograph sessions were held by many important writers, including Aziz Nesin, Yaşar Kemal, Tarık Buğra and Haldun Taner.
From Community Award to Writer of Honour
In the first year of the fair, it was decided to grant a “Community Award” to a writer chosen by the readers’ vote. The first name to earn this award was Yaşar Kemal. But since the answer to “Who is your favorite writer?” was always altering between Yaşar Kemal and Aziz Nesin, it was decided by the TÜYAP Counseling Board to set the “Writer of Honour” award.
In 1987, the first name to earn “Honorary Writer” title was the poet Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca. The following years, Nadir Nadi, Aziz Nesin, Melih Cevdet Anday, Rıfat Ilgaz, Adalet Ağaoğlu, Peride Celal, İlhan Berk, Gülten Akın, Füruzan, Cevat Çapan were to be added in the list.
The year of 1987 brought another novelty for the fair. With the increasing number of interest from the publishing houses and bookworms, at the end of five years the visitor number was multiplied by two, therefore a location problem started to arise. That year, the fair moved from Etap Marmara’s small field, to the area in Tepebaşa, where some of us still call as “TÜYAP”.
Starting from 1989, the fair activities started shaping around a main theme. The first theme was “Peace and Book”. During the years, many themes were set, including: “Poem and People”, “Children and Juvenile Literature”, “Theater”, “1968: Fourty Years Before Fourty Years Later”, “Love and Love Literature”, “Globalization”, “Writing Istanbul”, “100 Years of our Cinema”, “Hope: Dream or Reality?”, “Mediterannean Literature”, “Neighbours in Culture, Art and Literature”, “Humor: Smiling to Life”, “Philosophy and People”, “Literature, God Bless You”.
From Taksim To Beylikdüzü
İstanbul Book Fair, which had been meeting with bookworms for 15 years in Tepebaşı, was subject to a radical decision in 2002 and moved to Beylikdüzü TÜYAP Fair Convention and Congress Centers in Beylikdüzü, along with the debates that “it would be too far to the city center and would not be able to meet the previous number of visitors because of the transportation problem”. In 2010, for the first time, a country was chosen the “Guest of Honor” with its literature and culture, and the first guest of the international hall was Spain. On the following years the hall hosted Egypt, Netherlands, China, Hungary, Romania, Germany and Korea.
When it reached its 30th year, İstanbul Book Fair became a platform where 600 publishing houses participated, half a million guests were hosted and more than 500 autograph sessions. The book fair is among the events that are awaited avidly, one of the most important organisations in both the city and literature world’s agenda.
Note It Down!
The İstanbul Book Fair which celebrates its 37th year in 2018, is expecting the participation of more than 800 national and international publishing houses and non-governmental organisation. This year’s theme is “Surrounding Life With Literature”. The “Writer of Honour” is Selim İleri, who left 50 years of literature behind with his works of novel, stories, critics and screenplays. The fair continues for nine days and is enriched with autograph sessions, panels, speeches and workshops for kids. By the way, once you are in the Book Fair, you can visit the Istanbul
Art Fair organised each year simultaneously.