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Turkish agency seeks support from international publishers during economic crisis

In Turkey, the Istanbul-based Kalem Agency is urging publishers and agents to support the country’s book trade in light of the current economic crisis, reports the Bookseller.

Kalem Agency owner Nermin Mollaoglu predicts that Turkish publishers will buy fewer books for less money at Frankfurt Book Fair and that fewer Turkish book trade companies will travel to the fair.

Turkey’s currency, the lira, lost 20% of its value on 9 August, the same day that US president Donald Trump announced he was doubling US import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium, following a dispute over the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson. In the past year, the lira has already dropped by more than 40% against the US dollar.

In an email sent to international agents and publisher clients, Mollaoglu wrote that ‘even though the government says the exact opposite … we are in the midst of economic crisis’ which ‘affects all sectors’ in Turkey.

A large portion of publishers’ income is generated from rights sales, because half of all books published in Turkey are translated works, according to Mollaoglu. However, if small Turkish publishers can no longer afford to pay for rights, advances and royalties, ‘it will only be only the big publishers playing the game’. She added: ‘The landscape is changing and it’s not healthy.’

Mollaoglu said that the Kalem Agency must ‘stand with Turkish publishers’ and ‘do our best to help publishers to escape with nothing but a few “scrapes”’. Mollaoglu asked international clients to ‘consider offers from Turkey in the light of these facts’ about the crisis.



Category: International news