The Istanbul Book Fair (İstanbul Kitap Fuarı) was inaugurated in 1982. Over the years, it has become the largest event in Turkey’s publishing industry with no significant competitors and one of the foremost cultural events in the city. The event is held by TÜYAP Fairs in association with the Turkish Publishers Association.
The fair lasts about a week, it offers a wide range of events designed for attendees of all ages. Numerous exhibitors present thousands of books and periodicals: educational and religious books, fiction and non-fiction, books for children and youth, and more. At the fair you can even find antique and collectible books.
Book signings and panel discussions are one of the fair’s main attractions. Every year, the organizers invite well-known authors from Turkey and abroad who present their new books, participate in Q&A sessions and books signings, deliver lectures and moderate discussions.
A great portion of books presented at the fair are in Turkish. But there are plenty of books in other languages, too, because the fair is an international event with the most access to readers in Europe. Every year, it attracts almost 500,000 book lovers from different countries who are eager to see what Turkey’s publishing industry has to offer.
In 2000, the organizers first introduced the annual theme, the author of honor and the guest of honor. The theme of the fair typically has something to do with culture. Sometimes it is related to Istanbul or Turkey in general, sometimes it is not. The author of honor is a renowned Turkish author whose contribution to the national literature is celebrated during the event. The guest of honor is a country or region whose literature becomes the focus of the fair which is reflected in the program.
Photo: İstanbul Kitap Fuari