The Turkish version of "De Brug" (The Bridge), the book-week present written by Geert Mak, must be printed anew. It turns out to be a censored version of the Dutch book.
The organizers of the book week present, the Collective Promotion for the Dutch Book organization (CPNB) wanted to offer a Turkish version of the book in order to "simulate literary dialog and serve Turkish Dutch who prefer their mother tongue for reading literature."
But according to the CPNB a serious mistake was made at the final editing of the Turkish edition, which appeared under the title "Köprü". The Turkish book was a direct translation of the Dutch version. But Köprü would also be printed in Turkey, and that is a differen, "censored" translation.
Now it appears that texts from the Turkish version slipped into the Dutch-Turkish version, and so Turks in the Netherlands read a different, censured version than readers of the Dutch version.
"In the Dutch version Mak says about a patriarch of Turkey for example: 'his cruelty was legendary'. In the Turkish version this remark was cut out," says CPNB manager Henk Kraima.
"The Dutch version is illegal in Turkey. You are not allowed to write there about certain things. The Armenian issue, for example," says Kraima. At the end of March, at the end of the Dutch book-week, the CPNB got a letter from a reader who noticed the differences.
The operation cost a few ten of thousands of euros. The costs were shared by CPNB and Atlas, Geert Mak's publishers. CPNB will pay for the reprinting of 20,000 Turkish books, along with an advertisement campaign in the national papers.
Owners of Köprü can exchange their book for the new translation. Whoever sends CPNB his edition will get a correct edition once it is ready. The advertisement campaign will appear in both Dutch and Turkish.
In the book, residents of Istanbul talk of the history of their city.
Source: Elsevier (Dutch)
See also: Netherlands: Turkish book for 'book week'