As part of the sixth round of an international publishers meeting, the Istanbul Copyright Awards winners were announced.

An awards ceremony was held at Istanbul’s Grand Cevahir Hotel under the Istanbul Governorship’s auspices late on Tuesday.

The ceremony was held with the aims to encourage the exchange of copyrights from Turkish to foreign languages, to contribute to the development, cultural cooperation and promotion of the sector, to encourage copyright work and to reward achievements.

Mohammad Khatip from Digital Future Ltd. in Lebanon was the first place winner in the Istanbul Copyright Awards, which received 52 applications from 26 countries and received contributions from the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce.

While Shahbaz Khudoghlu from Qanun Publishing House in Azerbaijan received the second prize, Bachar Chebaro from Hamad bin Khalifa University Publications in Qatar was awarded the third prize.

Among the first three publishers in the list, a check worth $10,000 for the first, $6,000 for the second, and $4,000 for the third place were awarded.

The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce special award was also given to Pena’s Mensur Bytyqi from Kosovo, while Nazli Berivan Ak received the special award of the Federation of Publishers Professional Associations (YAYFED) on behalf of Nestoras Poulakos from Vakxikon Publications in Greece.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, first place winner Khatip said the Istanbul Publishing Fellowship is a “great opportunity” to get to know Turkish publishing.

Telling he is honored to be receiving such an award, “This award adds value to our hard work. It also encourages us to do more and to take more responsibility in publishing,” Khatip said.

He said the international publishers meeting “opens a window for all book fairs and programs,” while adding that, “Life without cultural exchange is very different from the life we know.”

Meanwhile, the second prize winner Khudoghlu said he had received an award for the first time in his 30-year-long publisher life.

“I own a private publishing house and I have always had trouble with freedom of expression. For the same reason, I have never received an award. It is a very honorable matter for me to receive an award in Turkey,” he said.

At the end of the ceremony, Anadolu Agency Executive Board Member Saban Kizildag, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Israfil Kuralay, TUGEV and ICVB Director Cemil Kilic, DEKMEB President Mustafa Altundag, TRT Brand Manager Murat Kurt, Yunus Emre Institute Baku President Selcuk Karakilic, Albayrak Group Corporate Communications Manager Esad Sivri, TBYM President Mustafa Dogru, Publisher Professional Associations Federation President Munir Ustun and Press and Broadcasting Association Chairman Emrah Kisakurek were presented with plaques for their contributions.

The “Istanbul Publishing Fellowship,” supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Anadolu Agency, which is a global communication partner, will end on March 11.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara

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