More than 6,000 people visited the Fourth International Arabic Book Fair in Istanbul on Saturday, a surprising high turnout for opening day, a senior representative of a Turkish publishing association said Sunday.
Emrah Kısakürek, chairman of Istanbul-based BasYayBir, told Anadolu Agency that 207 publishers from 15 countries are participating in the event.
In addition to the considerable number of Arabs living throughout Turkey, "we currently have 37 publishers with Arab roots operating in Istanbul," Kısakürek explained. "So, after a while, the fair became a necessity for our Arab-heritage residents."
The event, the only fair supported and accredited by Arab Publishers' Association outside the Arab world, kicked off Saturday and runs through Sept. 9.
"Fairs in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan are busy, but in terms of individual sales, there are a few exhibitions where so many publishers are together," Kısakürek added.
Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin also visited Anadolu Agency's stand at the fair.
The fair, which was held under the slogan "Discover a New World" at the Eurasia Exhibition and Art Center, will see the participation of over 200 publishers from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Morocco, the U.K., Italy, Iran and Iraq.