About Yollarda

About the project

The Goethe Institute in Istanbul organized a literary tour that took place from May 2009 to June 2010 in 24 cities in Turkey and eight cities in Europe. It was one of the largest literature projects the Goethe Institute had carried out anywhere in the world in recent years.

The tour, titled “Yollarda — European Literature Goes to Turkey/Turkish Literature Goes to Europe”, was supported by the “Cultural Bridges” program of the EU. A total of 48 notable authors as well as numerous musicians, photographers, filmmakers and artists came to Turkey from eight European countries (Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria).

“European Literature Goes to Turkey/Turkish Literature Goes to Europe”, which started on May 3, 2009, was one of the largest literature projects carried out by the Goethe Institute in recent years. The project was supported by the EU program “Cultural Bridges”. A total of 48 authors from eight European countries read excerpts from their works in numerous cities throughout Turkey. The second part of the project took 14 Turkish authors to Europe. The President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert; the advisor of the EU-Delegation to Turkey, Michael Vögele; and the President of the Turkish Parliament, Köksal Toptan, kicked off the two-year-long project on May 3.

In each of the Turkish university cities that were visited, there was a week of bilingual interactive readings, discussions, concerts and exhibitions which gave the audiences insights into contemporary European culture and strengthened the exchange of literature between Europe and Turkey. The European authors travelled in pairs together with their Turkish translators, accompanied by an EU bookmobile containing contemporary European literature. In selected cities they were also accompanied by a film team. The Turkish part of the tour ended in April 2010 with a gala ceremony in Istanbul that was part of the celebrations honouring Istanbul’s status as a European Capital of Culture 2010.

The second part of the program then took 14 authors and numerous musicians from Turkey to Sofia, Bucharest, Vienna, Venice, Zürich and the two other European Capitals of Culture 2010, Pécs and Essen. There, the Turkish authors read from their works, giving their audiences insights into the many rich facets of Turkish culture. Here too, the readings were accompanied by a supporting program. The final highlight of “Yollarda” was a gala ceremony attended by all of the participating authors in Brussels at the end of June.

The tour was accompanied by a bookmobile that offered visitors not only works by the authors but also Internet workstations and information about the countries participating in the project. Video camps, readings at universities and schools, and an interactive Weblog were features that were directed toward young people in particular.

“European Literature Goes to Turkey/Turkish Literature Goes to Europe” was supported as part of the “Cultural Bridges” program of the EU. The partners of the program include the consulates, embassies and cultural institutes of Austria, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Switzerland in Turkey, as well as Anadolu Kültür, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), Istanbul 2010 – European Capital of Culture Agency, Pécs 2010, Bilgi University Istanbul, Contretype – Center for Contemporary Photography in Brussels, Wallonie Bruxelles International, the Hungarian House of Photography, Pro Helvetia, the S. Fischer Foundation, the Cultural Foundation of German-Turkish Commerce, and the foundation of graduates of the Austrian St. Georgs Kolleg (ALV).

The project was supported by the Literary Colloquium Berlin, Ruhr 2010, the Goethe Institutes in Sofia, Bucharest and Brussels, the German Embassy in Ankara, the German General Consulate in Istanbul, and the Turkish embassies in Sofia, Bucharest, Vienna, Zürich and Budapest. The sponsors are Mercedes Benz and Turkish Airlines. The cooperation partners of the “into Istanbul“ project are Ensemble Modern and the Siemens Art Program, supported by Siemens AG Istanbul in cooperation with the Goethe Institute.