Increasing Arab Participation in Istanbul’s Literary Life

A second major Arabic bookshop — Totil Bookstore — has now opened in Istanbul, as Turkey’s Arabic Book Fair also continues its run until Feb. 21:

bookfairThe ten-day book fair was organized by the Writers Union of Turkey and Haşimi Publications, promising 50 publishing houses from 15 Arab-majority countries.

“With this international fair, we aim to embrace Syrian refugees who found refuge in Turkey and grant them the Arabic publications that they have long needed,” Cezmi Akgul, manager of Turkey’s Semerkand publishing house and organizer of the fair, said at an opening-day event.

According to the Daily Sabah, it’s expected that the fair, which is being held at Istanbul’s Kızlarağası Madrasah, will attract more than 50,000 visitors.

There was a similar fair held last November.

Meanwhile, two Arab authors are at Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu International Short Story Festival, also running now. Writers include prominent international authors like Ben Okri, more than two dozen Turkish authors, and short-story writers Hisham Bustani, from Jordan, and Palestinian Ziad Khaddash.