In an official opening ceremony this morning on the first day of the fair, The Minister of Culture and Tourism of The Republic of Turkey, Ömer Çelik, and the UK’s Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, launched The London Book Fair Market Focus Turkey programme of events at Earls Court 2, stand no. U455.
The opening is the start of a rich and colourful programme of activities to celebrate Turkish publishing and literature, curated by the National Organising Committee for International Book Fairs, in association with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Yunus Emre Institute, and the Turkish Publishers Association and Association of Press and Publishing Turkey, and in partnership with The London Book Fair and its LBF Market Focus strategic partners, the British Council and The Publishers Association of the UK.
Acclaimed novelist Elif Shafak, one of the most widely read women writers in Turkey, who will be The LBF Market Focus Author of the Day on Tuesday 16 April spoke at the ceremony. The ceremony was followed by a reception on the Turkey Pavilion at which musicians from the Ankara State Turkish Classical Choir performed the works of well-known Turkish poets.
During The London Book Fair around 150 writers, publishers, translators, artists and academics are taking part in 80 events and activities to celebrate The London Book Fair Turkey Market Focus. There will also be exhibitions, traditional craft workshops and music performances.
Ömer Çelik, The Minister of Culture and Tourism of The Republic of Turkey, said: “We are bringing together the publishing sector and the world of literature as well as professional and civil societies from the publishing industry into one body, which will be presented under the banner ‘Turkey in all its Colours’. All the works and projects related to the promotion of the accumulation of our literary, artistic and cultural riches in all their colours, including this Market Focus Turkey programme for The London Book Fair, together with all the international book fairs, are conducted by the Turkish National Organising Committee under the aegis of our Ministry.”
Ed Vaizey, The UK’s Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, said:
“I’m pleased to be here at The London Book Fair welcoming Turkey as the Market Focus country. The publishing industry is the biggest creative industry in the UK with £5bn revenue, forty per cent of which is earned through exports. Publishers’ exports to Turkey grew by a third last year, so the Market Focus programme is a great chance for UK publishers to learn more about the expanding Turkish market, which has many exciting opportunities, especially in the field of educational publishing. What’s more, I’ve seen that there is a fascinating line-up of Turkish authors and other events taking place this week so I hope that stimulates further cultural exchange between our two countries”.
The London Book Fair Market Focus initiative is currently in its tenth year and has done much to open doors, creating both commercial and cultural partnerships around the world since it was first introduced by The London Book Fair in 2004. The objective of the Market Focus is to put the spotlight on publishing trade links with the country or region that is showcased, highlighting its publishing industry, and the opportunities for conducting business with the rest of the world.