Next Tuesday (14 October) Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will open the 60th Frankfurt Book Fair, which this year will focus on Turkey, the guest of honour. Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Literature Nobel Prize holder Orhan Pamuk are also due to be present at the opening ceremony.
Both Germany and Turkey place a high priority on cultural exchange. For example, in 2006 Federal Minister Steinmeier and Abdullah Gül, Turkey's foreign minister at the time, launched the Ernst Reuter Initiative for Intercultural Dialogue and Understanding (ERI). In May 2008 an agreement on the foundation of a German-Turkish University in Istanbul was signed at the Federal Foreign Office. The Dortmund Art and Cultural History Museum's current exhibition entitled "Evet – Ja, ich will" provides an insight into the two countries' matrimonial traditions. Now the Frankfurt Book Fair will give Germans an opportunity to experience Turkey's culture for themselves via its literature.
Since 2003 the Federal Foreign Office has co-sponsored the Fair's International Centre in Hall 5, where the Goethe Institut, the German Archaeological Institute and the Institute for Foreign Relations present a broad range of events and discussions. In the adjacent Translators Centre interpreters and translators can discuss their current professional challenges in lectures and seminars.
One important way in which the Federal Foreign Office and the Book Fair cooperate is through the Publishers Invitation Programme. Using Federal Foreign Office funds, twenty-five publishers from countries whose book publishing and trade infrastructure is less developed are given the chance to present their products at the Fair and network with other players in the business.
Background to the Frankfurt Book Fair:
This year's Fair will again be the undisputed world leader as regards trade fairs for books and electronic media, as well as for the international rights trade. Over 7,000 individual exhibitors from 101 countries are due to attend, presenting a total of more than 400,000 titles.