By CRI Correspondent Zhang Jin in Istanbul
With the current emergence of electronic devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, people are using more online resources and reading more e-books. At the 32nd International Istanbul Book Fair, publishers, online database providers and writers are paying more attention on how the digital era changes reading and writing.
Siqi takes us there for more.
Although the number of E-book readers is gradually increasing, the E-book publishing industry in Turkey is still rather small.
Nihan Tanriyakul works for Dogan Group, the publisher with the largest circulation in Turkey last year.
"Digital book sales are not big deals in Turkey right now. It's very new for our people. Our company is one of the biggest ones in the E-book market. We sell E-books of almost our all titles. And the popular titles are the same with the print titles. Sales are not important for now in our turnover shares, but it's promising."
She says the company has seen the potential of digital publishing, as E-books have become more accessible and user-friendly.
"Our main concern is digital. We try to enlarge the market share, but for now it's just beginning. In a few years, we expect much bigger turnover from that."
According to Munir Ustun, President of the Association of Press and Publishing Turkey, about half of the Turkish population are young people. A government education project named "Fatih" is providing more opportunities for digital publishing.
"Under Turkey's public education system, our government provides students with tablet computers for their studies. Digital publishing will therefore be deeply involved in this sector. We are now cooperating with the Ministry of Education in the hope of getting more market shares in E-books for primary and middle schools."
The project definitely presents a good opportunity for online database providers. Harun Karakus is the general director of Hiperlink, a company providing electronic and print resources, which designed the first Turkish E-book database in the country.
"We have the only unique Turkish database in Turkey, and it's a great system for students to use. The government is going to give out the iPads to all the students in Turkey, and if you don't put any electronic library in these tablets, you cannot get the most benefits from the project. It's a great opportunity for us."
The company has also sought cooperation around the world in order to provide better online resource services. They signed an agreement during the book fair with China National Knowledge Infrastructure, or CNKI, the most authoritative, comprehensive, and largest source of China-based information resources in the world, to introduce CNKI's resources in Turkish market.
"China is a growing economy in the world and is getting a lot of attention. We believe that we will be successful with the E-journals of CNKI. It's a great database, and they have great titles in the database. Now we have been setting up the trials to the academic institutions in Turkey, and we have good feedback actually from the users for the prospect."
In addition to influencing the nature of reading amongst the public, the digital era has also affected writers in their work. Turkish writer Baris Mustecaplioglu says the Internet has become a useful tool for writers to open their minds.
"If you can use it in the right way, it brings you to get ideas from many different people from all over the world. Sometimes a writer needs ideas and inspiration from people who don't live like him, who don't think like him. If you only read people who think like you, you cannot write something new. You need new ideas, you need new challenges, you need new people. The Internet is a tool to find such new ideas."
However, Mustecaplioglu is cautious when discussing online literature, which he regards as risky.
"Sometimes people are publishing their stories on Internet without any editorial work, and then of course the qualities of these writings are low. I suggest young writers still go to serious publishers or serious literary magazines and ask them to publish their stories in the magazines or as a published book, because at a young age, the writers need editorial support."
Wu Shulin, Deputy Director of China's State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, is more optimistic.
"The most important thing is the content. With the development of technology, it will not be a problem for works to be published in various forms; the emergence of great works is the eternal focus of writers and society."
For CRI, I'm Siqi.