Turkey and Greece, two old political rivals, have made headway for rapprochement recent years in diplomatic relations. Efforts aiming to restore relations are not observed only in the political arena; rather the two nations are now much closer through books, a more effective way to bridge two societies.
A book fair in the Greek capital appears to be a new platform for reconciliation. Many books in different categories ranging from literature to natural therapy find their place on the shelves. As a demonstration of increasing Greek interest in the Turkish language, many visitors rushed to purchase Turkish grammar books. Furthermore, translated books about Turkish politics and history also attract remarkable attention. While it remains unknown whether the political reconciliation leads the increasing interest in Turkey in Greek society or vice versa, the fact that more and more Turkish books are being translated into Greek is certain.
The relationship of readers and their books is more than one simply between a consumer and a product. It is more like a one-side emotional dependency. Readers and their books become best friends for life. From a different perspective, the link between authors and books is more intense. They open all the doors of their minds, hearts and consciousness in their books. The increased use of internet technology in reading and spreading e-books does not challenge the special place of books in many lives. This unique connection may be the profound factor narrowing the gaps among societies having hostilities towards each other.
Explaining probable reasons sparking interest into Turkish books, Greek publisher Kostas Kostopulos said “We have been living as neighbors for 500 years so it is normal to have common characteristics in our literatures. I am of the opinion that literature has a large role in forging friendly relations between Turkish and Greek communities. The literature is the most detrimental area which brings two societies closer. There should be more translations. Those who are interested in cultural activities and literature should put more effort to form better relations.”
However, all is not well for Greek readers. The newly published books have a relatively high prices of around 20-30 Euros. Despite the enormous financial hardships the country continues to face, the amount of sales is sufficient for 300 publishing houses to survive. “This is something big for a country that only has a population of 20 million. The economic obstacles make our lives difficult but we believe books are essential to overcome these difficulties,” Kostopulos added.
Kuzey News AgencyLast Mod: 28 Eylül 2013, 16:40