TEDA project makes Turkish literary works available worldwide in Translation
As part of a major government project to make Turkish literary works available in translation all around the world, over the last five years more than 700 literary works have been translated into 40 different languages in 50 countries. Speaking about the Culture and Tourism Ministry's Translation Support Program (TEDA) project, under its Directorate of Libraries and Publications, directorate head Onur Bilge Kula said interest in Turkish literature has risen dramatically since Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006, adding that TEDA could help other Turkish authors vie for the prize. "With each passing day, Turkey is seen more and more as a country that enjoys a developed, significant literature, reflecting its economic progress in art and valuing culture," said Kula. He stressed the need for better international promotion of the more than 300 Turkish novels published every year. Saying that young novelists dominate the Turkish literary world, Kula added, "This means we can expect the output of these authors to rise considerably. Turkish literature is moving towards a very bright future." Stating that besides Pamuk's Nobel win, Turkey being the guest of honor at the 2008 Frankfurt Book Fair helped push publishers to submit more novels – and a more diverse selection – to TEDA for translation, Kula said the works translated vary from country to country. Works by the late Ahmed Hamdi Tanpinar have drawn great interest in recent years, but lesser-known authors could also be discovered abroad, he said. Calling TEDA one of Turkey's smartest projects ever, Kula explained, "With a project costing several million euros, we've produced a remarkable promotional campaign. That's one percent of the budget to promote tourism. We tout a lasting asset of our country, namely literature. For instance, tourism is transient, and people use up tourist services immediately. But people put literary works on their bookshelves. So literary works act as objects of visual promotion for years, and tout our assets that entire time."