ITEF, which will take place between 4-10 May, is ready for its literature-loving audience this year with interesting topics and an intense programme. The festival, which has hosted more than 80 events up until today, is open to the public and free. The readers have the opportunity to come together with the authors they love or will discover. The “Professional Meetings” aspect of the festival is special as it becomes a meeting point for authors, publishers, agencies, translators, journalists, literature fund executives, festival coordinators and all who have a passion for publishing. ITEF does not only take place in Istanbul; but also organises many events in various cities fromAnkara to Erzurum, Izmir to Konya and Bursa.
WHAT IS ON THIS YEAR?
The festival’s events will take place at the Istanbul Metropolitan Museum’s Ataturk Library, the Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul, Sismanoglio Megaro and KargArt. And the authors of ITEF 2015… Markus Zusak, the author of best-sellers like ‘The Book Thief’, ‘The Underdog’, ‘When Dogs Cry’, will share his writing process and sources of inspiration with his readers. Mesut Varlık, the editor/academic of ‘The Manifesto of Rural Literature’ and Tarık Tufan, the scriptwriter of ‘Yozgat Blues’ and ‘Fat Chance’ will come together at an event titled “Big Town, Small City: The Rural” at the Sismanoglio Megaro on May 5th Tuesday. ITEF, together with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Ataturk Library, which is open 24 hours, provides the literature-lovers with an extraordinary experience. Just prior to midnight, the actor Murat Eken will read parts of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s ‘The Time Regulation Institute’, which has attained its status amongst the world classics. The project “Authors at Schools”, one of the most fundamental aspects of ITEF, intends to unite students from primary, middle and high school with authors from various countries. In this context, the award-winning Fatima Sharafeddine and world-renowned author of children’s books, Mauri Kunnas, will come together with the young readers and in Turkey.
THE READING HANDS
As part of a social responsibility project, ITEF will break new ground in Turkey. “Reading Workshops” for visually-impaired children from Grades 1, 2 and 3 will be organised. Melike Günyüz, one of the most popular figures of children’s books in Turkey, has prepared a special book for the visually-impaired children as part of the project “Reading Hands”, which is one of its kind in Turkey, The book, has been illustrated by Berrin Karakaş, is expected to be warmly welcomed by these visually-impaired children. As part of the events, which will take place at the Türkan Sabancı Primary School for the Visually-Impaired, students will read the books printed with the ‘Braille’ alphabet together with educators. As part of the festival, the iconic buildings in Istanbul and public transportation vehicles, which are believed to be beneficial for the visually-impaired children, have been printed in 3D formats and will be provided for these students at the school events.
AN EXEMPLARY ENDEAVOUR
The final surprise of ITEF is the anthology of the festival. This book, which has been designed as a book symbolising the permanence and productivity of the event, consists mostly of specially-ordered texts. Within the anthology, both local and international authors will share their writings with the literature-lovers under the theme of “City and Borders”. The anthology will be available at the event venues. For more information please visit www.itef.com.tr
THE Tanpınar AWARD GOES TO AKTAŞ
The 15th Literature Days organised in Bursa with the theme of “Writing about the Middle East” has taken place with the attendance of many poets, authors and academics from all corners of Turkey. The guest of honour this year was the American academic Prof. Norman Finkelstein, who is known for his writings on the demographic structure of Palestine. Those poets from the Islamic geographies exploring the issues of the Middle East within their poetry were also honoured. The 3-day events came to an end with an awards ceremony. The author, Cihan Aktaş, who received the Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar Award for Novel, stated that she was honoured: “I cannot express how honoured I feel to have received this award. In 2008, I had arrived in Bursa as a member of the jury for the Tanpınar Novel Awards. I would like to thank the Bursa Literature Days events for their interest in my novels”.