The director of the Organization of Libraries and Publications of Turkey commended the Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) as one of the most prominent events of its kind worldwide.
He highlighted that the 34th edition featured larger pavilions and offered a broader array of services to visitors.
In an interview with Iran Daily, Nizar Kara revealed the unveiling of a printed version of a rare Masnavi manuscript, originally preserved at the Konya Museum in Turkey.
This notable manuscript, based on the Persian version of the book, was printed in 1,000 copies for the first time, with two copies displayed at the current exhibition.
Kara emphasized the cultural connection between Iran and Turkey, particularly referencing the renowned poet Rumi, also known as Mevlana (Maulana).
Acknowledging Rumi’s significant position in Iranian poetry and literature, Kara highlighted the TIBF as the ideal platform for unveiling this ancient edition.
Kara further explained that this particular version of the Masnavi, considered the oldest, received the approval of the great poet during his lifetime.
The publication of this magnum opus was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Konya Tourism Culture Department, the Konya and Annexation Antiquities Lovers Association, and a specialized and scholarly board.
Meticulous attention was given to every detail of the printing process, including the selection of paper and ink, ensuring complete fidelity to the original version, he added.
Kara also noted the significance of the work in relation to the 750th anniversary this year of Rumi’s passing (in 1273 CE), highlighting the poet’s global cultural heritage that extends beyond Iran and Turkey to countries like Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
He noted that six publishers from Turkey participated in the book fair, showcasing over a thousand copies of literature, culture, and art books in multiple languages, including Turkish, Persian and English, among others.
Kara emphasized the exchange of ideas between Iranian and Turkish publishers, revealing that the books displayed at the Turkish booth would be donated to Tehran’s libraries through the Turkish Embassy.
He encouraged Iranian publishers to visit the Turkish book booth in Tehran, offering support and the opportunity to acquire book copyrights.
Kara explained the TEDA plan, a cooperative initiative with foreign publishers in Turkey, facilitating the presence of Turkish publishers and their books in various international book fairs.
As part of this plan, 201 books were translated from Turkish to Persian, while 65 books by Turkish authors were translated into Persian by 38 Iranian publishers. Through this program, Iranian publishers obtained copyright licenses, receiving financial subsidies for printing and publishing the books.
Kara also mentioned Iran’s similar grant plan, where foreign publishers receive subsidies to publish Persian books in different languages across various countries, including Turkey.
Reflecting on his attendance at the TIBF, he expressed the significance of the fair for Turkey, having participated as a representative six times. He emphasized the global stature of the book fair as one of the largest in the world.
The 34th edition of the book fair, which commenced on May 10, will run until May 20, offering an expansive platform for literary exchange and collaboration.