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Small Istanbul publisher sustains Armenian literature

Aras Publishing has spent nearly three decades publishing forgotten classics by Armenian writers in both Turkish and the at-risk Western Armenian language.

ISTANBUL — A small book publisher is introducing Turkish readers to long-snubbed Armenian literary figures while also fighting to rescue Western Armenian, making Istanbul an improbable center of book production in the endangered language.

Now Aras Publishing has launched a children’s division and opened a new editorial office, built with donations from readers, that includes a space it hopes will forge deeper connections among its readers. The Zebal Yesayan Salon, named for the Ottoman-era feminist writer, hosts lectures, author readings and workshops. This month’s program includes discussions on being young and Armenian in Istanbul and one sultan’s fascination with the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. 

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