A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE 14-FEBRUARY WORLD SHORT STORY DAY PROJECT AND ANKARA SHORT STORY DAYS
The Turkish PEN Center of International P.E.N. has proposed the 14 February-World Short Story Day Project, for the first time at the 68th World Congress of International P.E.N., in 2002.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 14 FEBRUARY WORLD SHORT STORY DAY PROJECT
Özcan KARABULUT, a short story writer who is one of the eight writers that have founded the Turkish Authors Association (TAA) and who worked as the President of this association for 3 years (2001-2003), decided to realize the 14 February World Short Story Day Project , for the first time on 14 February 2002, as the continuation of another literary project, the Ankara Short Story Days Project, which he had been carrying on as an institutionalized activity, since 1997. Thus, he became the father of the idea of holding an International Short Story Day.
During the Short Story Forum held, on 14 February 2002, by Özcan KARABULUT, who was the President of the Turkish Authors Association (TAA), such topics as "The Qualitative and Quantitative Situation of the Short Story Genre in Turkish Literature", "The Criteria to Evaluate this Genre, the Interest of the Public Shown to it", "The Reasons Why a World Short Story Day Should be Seen as a Form of Communication" were discussed thoroughly by the short story writers, poets, critics, publishers and those who appreciated literature. Finally, the contributors, all, decided to repeat this activity in the following years, on the14th day of every February.
In 2003 the short story writers in Turkey decided to hold literary activities (short story readings, panel discussions, conferences, shor story book signings) to celebrate the World Short Story Day Project in 12 cities in Turkey, with the cooperation of the four Turkish Writers Organizations:Turkish PEN Center, Turkish Authors Association (TAA), Turkish Writers Syndicate and Language Association.
Aysu ERDEN, a member of the Turkish PEN Center and the Vice President of the Turkish Authors Association (TAA), after having made a detailed research on the method of application of the short story and literary activities held both in Turkey and in the world by the writers organizations, developed the project (making the appropriate decisions on the aims and goals of the day, the types of the activities to be held, the methods of application). Thus, she wrote a text for the project in the direction of the missions, strategies, teachings, philosophy and values of International P.E.N. and UNESCO.
The Board of the Turkish PEN Center, after having understood that such a project would become a vehicle and medium for the purpose of safeguarding the minority languages which are facing the danger of disappearing because of certain reasons, especially because of the oppressive regimes, made the decison to make an application to International P.E.N. and to the PEN Centers in the other countries, in order the day "14 February"to be celebrated as the World Short Story Day (September 2002) .
The Project was introduced to International P.E.N., by Mr.Üstün AKMEN, the President of the Turkish PEN Center and Aysu ERDEN, personally, when they participated in the 68th World Congress of International P.E.N. held in Ohrid-Macedonia (17-21 September 2002).
The Turkish PEN Centre submitted this Project to the Assembly of Delegates, the highest authority of International P.E.N., to be deliberated on, at the 69th PEN International Congress, for its being accepted by UNESCO, as a special date to achieve the above mentioned goals. International P.E.N. included the World Short Story Day Project in the Agenda of Assembly of Delegates of the 69th World Congress of International P.E.N. (Mexico City - 2003), as one of the recommendations of the International TaLRC. Aysu ERDEN participated in the 69th World Congress of International P.E.N. The recommendation was voted on 27 November 2003, and the existence of a World Short Story Day on the UNESCO Annual Cultural Calendar, submitted by the Turkish PEN Centre, had been approved .
The acceptance of February 14-World Short Story Day as a special date in UNESCO's calender will provide an opportunity, like other dates, such as March 21 World Poetry Day, to promote such essential aspects of International P.E.N.'s core mission, as stated below :
1-Promoting literary practice in the world through the study of the short story genre
2-Promoting the contribution of the writers organizarions as NGO's to the teaching of literature
3-Creating a culture of peace
4-Supporting the fact that, highlighting literature will highlight the importance of freedom of expression, human rights of the writers in their creative task for peaceful purposes, and, in turn, these will create a medium of cultural expression.
5-Respecting cultural diversity and different ways of thinking and life styles
6-Encouraging literary works
to be written, read in small, endangered, oppressed and minority languages
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