Massive stampede occurs while arriving to book fair in Istanbul

A massive stampede occurred on the road of book fair in Istanbul on Nov. 11 as fair-goers broke the barriers and stopped the traffic on one of the main highway of the province.

Thousands of Istanbulites and residents from other cities visited the 36th International Istanbul Book Fair, which opened on Nov. 4 at the TÜYAP Fair Convention and Congress Center in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district.

The high population of the book fair-goers caused a stampede on Nov. 11. People who wanted to arrive to fair area broke the barriers alongside of the E-5 highway which is one of the main road of Istanbul after they failed to arrive to area via overpass of the metrobus station.

Police officers stopped the traffic for preventing potential accidents and allowed the numbers of people for using the E-5 to arrive the fair.

Meanwhile, famous Turkish comedian Cem Yılmaz was among the guest of the book fair on Nov. 11.

Yılmaz left signature to his books and met with his huge crowd of fans.

“The book fair is a very nice place. I meet very nice people. Here you meet your real addressee, it’s a beautiful thing. Because these bright people are the real people in our work,“ he said.

Long queues formed at the entrance of the congress center, even after seven days after the official opening on Nov. 4.

The fair is organized by TÜYAP Fairs in partnership with the Turkish Publishers Association.

More than 800 Turkish and foreign publishers and nongovernmental organizations are taking part in this year’s fair, which hosts more than 300 events including workshops for children, lectures by authors, and autograph sessions.

Turkish novelist Ayla Kutlu is the Writer of Honor at this year’s fair and a series of panels and events will be held on the life and works of Kutlu with appearances by the author herself.

South Korea is this year’s Guest of Honor at the fair, celebrating its 36th year. South Korea’s booth was open to visit in the International Hall for the first four days of the fair until Nov. 7 and promoted South Korean literature and culture.

More than half a million people visited the fair last year.

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