ITEF- Istanbul International Literature Festival was initiated by Kalem Agency and it has been organized by Kalem Culture Association which is a non-profit foundation, since 2009.

It is the first international literary festival of Turkey focusing on a variety of genres, and to bring together writers, publishers, literary translators, critics and journalists for a series of inspirational encounters. Festival organizes more than 80 events each year, under different themes. These events are open to public, free and have a wide spectrum that ranges from conversations to panels, from literature workshops to reading events. The aim is to be the meeting point for artists from all around the world who wish to expand their relationships without boundaries.

ITEF is a non-profit organization which continues its activities without the government support for 11 years.

ITEF creates an environment which offers a possibility of cooperation of both local writers and publishing houses with foreign publishing houses, editors, translators and writers and also offers to literature lovers.

ITEF- Istanbul International Literature Festival has hosted 500 writers and 135 literature professionals since 2009.

The table below shows the chronogical order and numeric datas of the previous festivals:

YearsThemes Numbers of audience Numbers of events
City and Time47642
 2010City and Man52043
 2011City and Food51738
 2012City and Fear69248
 2013City and Game43333
2014 City and Journey90649
 2015City and Frontiers45132
 2016City and Voices35825
 2017City and Dream60140
 2018We Follow Literature71446
 2019Breakwater Literature67319

Besides all the activities, ITEF also organizes a fellowship programme which aims to increase the visibility of Turkish literature abroad, to promote Turkish literature worldwide and to enrich the literary scene in Turkey by extending horizons and creating new dialogues. With these aims in mind, the festival established the ITEF Fellowship Program. The Fellowship programme first started in 2011 and has hosted 148 fellows and from 40  countries, till today.

ITEF is a unique meeting point in Istanbul for writers, publishers, agents, translators, journalists, literary fund managers, festival coordinators and all of those who are passionate about  the world literature. The program allows a limited number of literary professionals around the world to meet with Turkish counterparts in their field, to share best practice and ideas and spark new projects and literary exchanges.

ITEF 2020 will be held between 3-6th June under the theme of "Sunflower Literature”.This year's certain writers include: Dževad Karahasan, Alejandro Zambra, Eva Meijer, Vladimir Pistalo, Michal Ajvaz, Marek Šindelka, Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Mircea Cartarescu.


ITEF-Istanbul International Literature Festival social media accounts;

Facebook: itef2019 

Instagram: itef_istanbul

Twitter: itef_istanbul 

Web site:



ITEF- Istanbul International Literature Festival contacts;

T: +90 216 345 42 47


Adress: Moda Cad. Caferağa Mah.

Erengül Apt. No:110/1

34710 Kadıköy/İSTANBUL