Bookmobile: And the Journey Starts

The bookmobile that accompanied the tour made an important contribution to the success of the project. The equipment in the bus made it possible for visitors to use the Internet, and the bus was also stocked with information about the authors from abroad who were travelling on the tour and about the countries they came from. In addition, the bookmobile offered visitors an opportunity to read the books written by the participating authors, both in the original language and in Turkish, as well as information about the countries participating in the project. As soon as the bookmobile appeared anywhere, it was overrun with visitors. The visitors could pick out a book and settle down with it in a comfortable seating area that had been set up in a corner of the bookmobile.

On 3 May 2009, the bookmobile was sent off towards Diyarbakir, the first stop of the tour, after the conclusion of the press conference held in the summer residence of the German ambassador in Tarabya, Istanbul. The bus travelled to universities, college preparatory high schools and public squares in 24 cities in Turkey in order to bring together Turkish readers and works by European authors. A total of 48 European authors, as well as numerous musicians, photographers, artists, actors and film producers were guests of the bookmobile. In the comfortable seating area inside the bus, visitors read books, shared information and took part in discussions with the authors. At each of the bookmobile’s 24 stops, a set of the works written by the European authors was given as a gift to each of the local libraries, college preparatory high schools and universities where the readings took place.

On 13 April 2010, the Turkish part of the tour ended in Istanbul and the second stage of the project, which took place in Europe, began.

Starting on 2 May 2010, the bookmobile, travelled thousands of kilometres, bringing European readers together with the books of 13 Turkish authors in eight major European cities: Sofia, Bucharest, Pécs, Vienna, Venice, Zürich, Ruhr and Brussels. At each of these eight stops, a set of the books by the Turkish authors as well as informational brochures about Turkey were given as a gift to each of the schools and universities that were visited on the tour. The bookmobile, which ended the European stage of its journey on 25 June 2010 in Brussels after the project’s gala closing event, had served a total of 27,816 visitors.