World Bulletin/News Desk
The Malatya 2nd Anatolia Book Fair, hosting nearly 270 publishing houses and 130 authors from Turkey's literary community, has been met with great interest from the public, with thousands of students visiting the fair.
The fair, whose theme is “Reading the language of peace” this year, kicked off on Tuesday and will end on Sunday. It was jointly organized by the Malatya Municipality and the Malatya Governor's Office.
Writer-journalists Beşir Ayvazoğlu and Can Dündar as well as authors Ayşe Kulin, Buket Uzuner and Yavuz Bahadıroğlu were among the lineup of names who attended the fair.
Forty-eight question-and-answer sessions and conferences were held in venues across Malatya as part of the fair.
The majority of visitors to the fair are students as almost all the schools in the province have organized tours to the fair. In addition to being able to purchase books at lower prices compared to stores elsewhere, visitors also have the opportunity to have some of their books signed by the authors.
Malatya Governor Vasip Şahin made an opening speech on Tuesday, describing the fair as a “feast that feeds our hearts and minds.” The governor said that a great number of publishing houses had applied to have booths at the fair, but some of them had been rejected due to a lack of adequate space at the fair area. The fair will be held in a larger area next year and more publishing houses will be able to participate, he added.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Malatya deputy Mustafa Şahin, Malatya Provincial Education Directorate head Mehmet Bulut, Malatya Mayor Ahmet Çakır and the fair's guest of honor, author Rasim Özdenören, were also among the speakers at the opening event on Tuesday.
Özdenören underlined the importance of reading in his speech, saying: “If we wait for the perfect free time to read, then books will always end up remaining on the table and we will not find any time to read. Thus, we should specifically make time to read rather than waiting for some free time.”
One of the international attendees of the fair was Italian author Mauro (Mevlud) Martino. Martino said the fair was quite successful and he was happy to be a part of it. “Many kids attended the fair and I love kids. I feel at peace and happy here in Turkey,” he said. Martino has been living in İstanbul since 2004.
Writer İdris Gürsoy delivered an address titled “Türkiye'nin Demokratikleşme Evreleri” (The phases of democratization in Turkey) on Friday while Mustafa Gürlek is scheduled to give a lecture on his book “50 Yıllık Sır: Genelkurmay Başkanı Rüştü Erdelhun'un 27 Mayıs Cuntasını Deşifre Eden Günlükleri” (A 50-Year Secret: The Diaries of Former Chief of General Staff Rüştü Erdelhun), which discloses the details of the May 27, 1960 coup, on Saturday. On the last day of the fair, Ülkü Özel Akagündüz will give a speech on her book “Yarim Anadolu” (My beloved, Anatolia).
Nearly 300,000 people visited the fair during its inaugural edition in 2012, according to data obtained from the organizers of the event, the Malatya Municipality and the Malatya Governor's Office.Last Mod: 04 Mayıs 2013, 10:36