ITEF Istanbul International Literature Festival aims to position literature as a branch of art that appeals to large audiences.

ITEF 2017 - City and Dream


07May 2017
21.30-22.30 This is a chatting experience together with the audience. We shall read tales together and we shall turn the tales upside down. This is a multi participant show. We are going to look at the tales cross eyed. Do not tell me fairy tales. Let us reverse the reading and the meaning of the tales, let us read the tales that the peddler takes out of his basket. Let us not permit the others to tell us fairy tales. Writer, poet, translator Orhan Tuncay will vocalize his purport on stage. Initially he occupied the stage as a ragman and let the audience to taste pieces on the meaning of life from his bag. He is now letting you to taste the weird tales that he is taking out of his basket. Now he is a peddler.
20.30-21.30 Passing through many dreams, cities also become the host of reveries. For some these cities become a source of life but for some they are the exact source of discontent. One person’s dream can become another person’s nightmare. And as this discrepancy grows larger so does the menace of a city. But when does a city stop dreaming? How does a person quit dreaming? Is there a point when it becomes too tiring? And what happens when dreams manufactured in a city find nothing to talk about with the dreams rooted there? Every city is a dream trap. But what if that city can’t find a dream to trap? What happens then to the city’s people and the dreamers of the city? Oya Baydar and Feride Çetin will discuss the dilemmas, trapped dreams and what a lack of dreams might look like. They will look for ways to dream again.
18.30-19.30 How much of our dreams are shaped by obstacles and opportunities that we face in life and how much are shaped by us? Do coincidences exist with the attributed meanings by us? Were borders between good and evil determined more randomly than we want to believe? Ayelet Gundar Goshen attemping to a deep existence inquiry in her novel “Waking Lions” in which she tells the struggle of a surgeon who hits a refugee and escapes from the scene of accident in order not to lose what he has in his life; Özgür Mumcu with his novel “The Peace Machine” in which he tells the story of ordinary people who are in purgatory between war and peace and Şebnem İşigüzel with her novels in which coincidences surrounds the narrative like an ivy will talk about the “Coincidences that shape our lives”
15.00-16.00 Dreams begin with the very first word, and not too long after you have become a bird soaring up in the skies or a hero who kicks baddies in the butt and saves the town. Days follow nights and one day you realize that your real life hasn’t really measured up to all of those dreams. The hero inhabiting the skies is long gone. And then the long list of dreams vs. reality starts to form. During this event Selçuk Aydemir will meet with his readers to talk about his own life as well his book “Liseden Arkadaşlar - Pals from High School” in which he tells the story of young Selçuk growing in a small neighbourhood in Küçükçekmece and hastily believes that he has grown up.
15.00-16.00 This year the main theme of our festival is City and Dream; and our first event will be shared between Ertuğ Uçar and Sinem Sal. Architects are the silent actors of any city. They have their print on everything from the art and the entertainment of a city to its sorrows and dreams. Ertuğ Uçar, who has been researching lighthouses, their uses, their caretakers, and their histories will speak with Sinem Sal who talks about many facets of a city from its secret armed organizations to its funeral parlours…
08May 2017
18.00-19.00 This even will revolve around a very familiar question for readers in Turkey. The writer of “Mindset of Modernization: A Tanpınar Fetishism”, Besim Dellaloğlu and the writer of “Melih Cevdet Anday: I Spent My Childhood on Earth” Yalçın Armağan will discuss the Turkey’s classic literary works and how they are perceived. These two respected academics will talk about the history of the conflicts around this question.
15.00-16.00 We are taught that freedom is our fundamental human right since our childhood. However, how easy is it to actually obtain it in reality? Who has the right to create a free space for themselves; live in their own will? Dimitris Sotakis in his novel The Miracle of Breath with a terrific irony deals with the pressure of the economic crisis in Greece and how it has affected individuals and people’s inherent habit to submit; Annabel Abbs with her novel The Joyce Girl where she tells the story of Lucia Joyce who cannot realize her talent freely because of her subordination to her family and Adalet Gundar-Goshen with her novel Waking Lions telling the story of a surgeon who is in between the freedom and the choices he made will talk about the compensation that we pay for the dream of freedom.
14.00-16.00 Şermin Çakıcı, the author of the sorrowful as well as comedic book “Dedemin Bakkalı – Granddad’s Market” will meet with her readers.
14.00-16.00 Ayşegül Dede, the author of the book “Hadi Masal Anlatalım – Let’s Tell Fairytales” in which many questions relating to fairytales and telling of fairytales are answered, will meet with her readers.
14.00-15.00 Romanian children’s author Petre Crăciun will meet with elementary school students in Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar Museum Library.
09May 2017
21.30-22.30 “And they never once mentioned the voice of the wanderer, there has never been a single person who could claim to have listened to the wanderer’s stories first hand… Stories were all there was… Stories and what they left at their wake; city and dream…”
20.30-21.30 Five authors who come to the concept of modernity with different cultural and historical backgrounds will discuss the hardships faced by people living in modern times. What we gain and what we lose with these changing times? Alek Popov who examines the nouveau riche of Bulgaria and their adaptation process in his works; Annabel Abbs who recreated the early 20th century Paris, the age of Joyce, Jung an even later Beckett in her novel The Joyce Girl; Carsten Jensen who followed the modernization period of his hometown Martsal in his award-winning novel We, the Drowned; Dimitris Sotakis who delved deep into the existential crisis of the modern man in his novel Miracle of Breath and finally Nermin Yıldırım who took her protagonist and readers on a thrilling journey of self-inspection in her latest novel Dokunmadan will discuss the themes of breath, drowning and suffocation amidst modernity.
18.30-19.30 “We were looking back at the city from out at sea… The city seemed pure and untouched; unharmed, unblemished, the white of the mist veiling everything and anything which could blight the view. It was like a vision from one of the myths of old, emerging for a fleeting moment before the light of the day… A newly founded city, a new start, shimmering in the grey light of dawn… Young, vibrant, full of hope…” A Memento for İstanbul, Ahmet Ümit Ahmet Ümit, the first author you think of when you think of cities in fiction, will talk about cities and their dreams.
18.00-19.00 The fans’ dedication to the two most important names in modern literature; Le Guin and Atwood have long been documented. As well as their ongoing efforsts to combat the dominating literary voices. Two of our female authors, Nil Sakman and Seran Demiral will discuss the female imagination and its influences. They will each bring a copy of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Dispossessed”. So don’t forget to bring your own copies!
15.00-16.00 Every song, every movie seems to be running on the same theme of disappointment in one way or another. Disappointment has become the one common ground everyone agrees on; the disappointment we feel towards the world but mostly our disappointment with ourselves... But have we come to rely on this feeling and have we come to expect it? Josefine Klougart who told the story of a young woman, dealing with loss and the irrepresible nature of memory in her novel “One of Us is Sleeping” will discuss the subject of disappointment with Melisa Kesmez whose stories deal with the modern world that we can’t seem to let go of no matter how relentlessly it comes down on us.
14.00-15.00 Famous Mexican television producer, journalist and author Jorge Zepeda Patterson will meet with high school students at Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar Museum Library
10.00-12.00 With the help of Next Page Foundation and Anna Lindh Foundation, Bulgarian author Alek Popov and Egyptian author Hamdy El-Gazzar will meet with student to discuss literary links between the Balkan and the Arab region, to explore and promote shared social and cultural themes as they are reflected in contemporary prose written in Arabic, Turkish, Bulgarian
10May 2017
21.30-22.30 They say that when word meets essence dreams become real. Doors part way with magic from the word, and light of love that oozes from the crack open up brand new paths. These paths spill over a walnut shell and this is how tales begin to form.
20.30-21.30 When we are weighed down by the realities of our world we tend to seek refuge in the arms of dreams. However even these dreams are actually shaped by the same realities we are running away from. Jorge Zepeda Patterson who has an established career as a journalist will talk about his characters who couldn’t escape the dark realities of their country. Having been named the Virginia Woolf of our generation, Josefine Klougart will talk about her newest novel One Of Us Is Sleeping in which a young woman ends up drowning in her dreams and Seray Şahiner who in her novel Kul described the experiences of a woman who tries to model her own life after what she sees on TV and fails, discuss the duality in the nature of dreams and reality.
19.30-20.30 Are we right to perceive dreams in such an inherently positive light? Aren’t every cruelty inflicted on each other seeded in a dream? As an author who has already proven his subversive position in Turkish literature Hakan Günday will discuss contemporary person’s journey to nothingness as well as the transitions between what’s real; what’s imaginary and what is a nightmare.
18.00-19.00 A conversation with İskender Pala about his newest novel “Karun ve Anarşist” The Karoun and the Anarchist, a book about the ambition and romances that changed the course of history
15.00-16.00 How are we going to live, how are we going to dream… Do we really make our decisions freely? Where we can escape from the despotism and pressure that we confront in different forms at every stage of our lives? Or surrendering the control of our lives to authority is an instinct as old and unchangable as our dream of freedom.
10.00-11.00 With the help of Next Page Foundation and Anna Lindh Foundation, Bulgarian author Alek Popov and Egyptian author Hamdy El-Gazzar will meet with student to discuss literary links between the Balkan and the Arab region, to explore and promote shared social and cultural themes as they are reflected in contemporary prose written in Arabic, Turkish, Bulgarian