Turkey, the guest of honor at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, is preparing to present its biggest show of national writers and poets in history. An estimated 300 writers and poets from Turkey will attend what is recognized as the world's largest book fair in Frankfurt this year, and the German governing committee of the book fair has already prepared a list that includes such Turkish writers and poets as Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlar-ca, Sezai Karakoç, Orhan Pamuk, Yaşar Kemal, Elif Şafak and Sadık Yalsızuçanlar, among others.
Most of the events Turkey plans for the fair have already taken shape. Turkish arts and literature, in addition to the Turkish pavilion in the fair area, will be presented to the fair's visitors through a number of workshops, panel discussions, concerts, theater performances, film screenings and even dance shows. Up to 100 publishers are expected to join the Turkish pavilion at the fair, which will run Oct. 15-19.
Under the slogan of "Turkey with all its colors," the list of invitees has been prepared with an eye on universality and, in addition to some of the more well-known Turkish literary figures, it includes many of Turkey's younger writers and poets. The Culture and Tourism Ministry in Ankara is expected to give further shape to the proposed list from Germany some time this week. Those chosen by the ministry will attend book reading events, workshops, panel discussions and symposiums in Frankfurt at the book fair.
Being the guest of honor at the upcoming fair presents a significant opportunity not only for Turkey but for Turkish literature in general. Having had a trial run of sorts at last year's Frankfurt Book Fair, Turkey has hinged many hopes on the event's 2008 edition. A meeting took place last week at the Culture and Tourism Ministry with regard to the event, with Minister Ertuğrul Günay and other officials from the ministry as well as the publishing committee discussing not only the current situation, but the goals connected with the German book fair. Günay is expected to hold a press conference this week about the preparations thus far.
Some of the biggest debates surrounding the 2008 Frankfurt Book Fair with relation to Turkey's attendance have to do with the as of yet not secured locations for some of the events. Co-president of the Turkish National Executive Committee for the book fair, Müge Sökmen, has affirmed that many of the event locations have already been decided on and that most of these are now confirmed.