VISITING GOOD BOOKS
"Book", "typographic art" are the very words and concepts that carry very special meaning, passing over the knowledge and experience of many generations. Nowadays, in the age of modern electronic technologies, the book has by no means lost its significance and relevance. That is why it was quite justified that the XII International Exhibition-Fair "Book is the Path to Cooperation and Progress", which was held in Ashgabat this September, attracted much attention at home and abroad.
The opening ceremony was attended by members of the government, leaders of the Mejlis, heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in Turkmenistan, workers of science and culture, mass media and student youth.
Turkmenistan has much to be proud of, including modern printing facilities built in recent years. Following a major reconstruction, the National Printing Center has been upgraded and its modernization continues. All the latest technologies are being consistently introduced in this industry, including the regions of the country, where printing houses are being either completely reconstructed or rebuilt.
The printing industry is one of the most important humanitarian components of the country's economy. The advanced technologies and modern equipment from leading manufacturers have become a characteristic feature of the printing industry.
Turkmenistan currently produces dozens of periodicals - newspapers and magazines for people of different professions and ages. New books are also being published in the country - historical, artistic, documentary, about traditions and cultural heritage. Reading them, one can gradually trace the history of an independent country. Books with high printing quality and beautiful design are in good demand at the bookstores.
The largest state-owned enterprises and private companies demonstrated the great potential of the Turkmen printing industry. Richly illustrated albums, textbooks, works of the classical Turkmen and world literature, colorful book novelties, including for children, magazines, colorful booklets and postcards are noted for their professional design and execution. The printed products displayed at exhibition won rightful recognition from both long-standing partners and those who made the first acquaintance with the national printing industry.
The stand featuring the books by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov enjoyed special attention at the exhibition. Among them were the multivolume edition "Medicinal Plants of Turkmenistan", "Adoration of the Mother - Worship of the Shrine", the sequel "Turkmenistan is the Heart of the Great Silk Road", the monograph "Turkmenistan on the Way to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals."
The scientific-educational standards, richness of content of printed materials were the distinguishing feature of the Ashgabat book exhibition. All the variety of scientific, educational, children's, fiction, art and history books, as well as visual aids, cartographic publications and photo albums were exhibited on the stands of the state-owned agencies and scientific and educational centers, printing houses and commercial enterprises from many countries of the world.
The scientific conference "The Book is the Way to Cooperation and Progress" was held in the conference hall of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan as part of the International Exhibition-Fair. It brought together representatives of the printing industry, higher education institutions, libraries, experts in the field of printing, writers and journalists. The conference participants familiarized themselves with the achievements of the printing industry of Turkmenistan and other countries and shared experiences in introducing the latest technologies in production of books and other printing products.
In the course of the lively exchange of views, the conference participants discussed issues related to establishing close partnerships between the relevant structures, including in the field of training of specialists in publishing and printing technologies, translation work, librarianship and exchange of visits. In addition, Turkmen and foreign writers met on the sidelines of the forum to discuss the works by the head of state, namely the second volume of the work "Turkmenistan is the Heart of the Great Silk Road" and the book "Adoration of the Mother - Worship of the Shrine".
Yet, a fair is not only an opportunity, as they say, "to be seen" but also "to see", since Turkmenistan is open to the world and its citizens are very much interested in things happening in other countries. About 150 representatives of the printing industry, business and literary circles from more than 20 countries of the world gathered in Ashgabat to participate in the International Exhibition-Fair. Among them were top managers, leading specialists, experts, mid-level managers, representing about 100 publishing houses and printing companies, equipment manufacturers, trading companies and higher education institutions from many countries of the world. The delegations included famous prose writers and poets, translators, scientists, artists, journalists, as well as representatives of major scientific and educational institutions of printing art. Art groups greeted the participants and guests of the exhibition with beautiful melodies, adding a feeling of the grandeur to the event.
This year, the Russian delegation was the largest at the forum. The leading Russian publishing houses and editors of periodicals, trading houses and printing houses sent their representatives to Ashgabat. They discovered Turkmenistan as a country with the rapidly developing economy and rich culture and history. Publishers of periodicals were widely represented at the exhibition. They set up big expositions that enjoyed the continued interest of the forum guests.
"We are pleased to take part in this exhibition in Ashgabat. Cooperation between Turkmenistan and Russia is developing in various fields, and we have to fully cover this positive process," Chief Editor of literary magazine "Druzhba Narodov" Sergey Nadeyev said. This exhibition will help strengthening cooperation that everyone needs, and we will surely publish an article about this significant event in our magazine."
Many scientific and educational publishing houses and specialized higher education establishments from Russia took part in the forum. Their interest in the exhibition was understandable, since Turkmenistan prioritized education. Everyone knows in Turkmenistan that only an educated generation can provide confidence in the future of the country. That is why huge investments have been made in the human capital. Multimedia educational complexes are being built, and there is a great demand for new progressive approaches to producing high-quality educational literature.
The annual successes of the Turkmen State Publishing Service at prestigious foreign publishing forums seem logical and justified in this context. It should be noted that the State Publishing Service of Turkmenistan, being a regular participant of the international art contest among the CIS countries, has invariably won high prizes, while the colorful publications about Turkmenistan have long become the country's presentation card.
For example, in the early September, winners of the 15th International Contest among the CIS countries "The Art of the Book" were awarded prizes as part of the thirty-first Moscow International Book Fair.
The contest has been held regularly since 2004 under the auspices of the Interstate Council for Cooperation in the Sphere of Periodical Press, Book Publishing, Book Distribution and Printing and the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation. The contest aims to promote the best publishing projects, increase interaction in the sphere of literature and publishing, popularize the best achievements in the field of book art and develop the exchange of spiritual and cultural values between the peoples.
This year, more than one hundred publications competed in ten categories for the prizes of the contest "The Art of the Book." Turkmenistan was represented by four books released in 2017 that were brought to the contest by the State Publishing Service of the country. All four were awarded top prizes.
In the nomination "Dialogue of Cultures", the book "Turkmenistan is the Heart of the Great Silk Road" by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov won the 1st degree Diploma and the title of the winner of the international contest. In the nomination "My Country", the book "Arkadag's Teaching - the Basis of Health and Enthusiasm" was awarded one of the top prizes of the art contest. In the nomination "Book for Children and Youth", the colorful edition "Turkmen Folk Tales" was awarded the 2nd degree Diploma. In the nomination "Academic Literature and Education", the 3rd degree Diploma was awarded to the book "Gurgenj - Medieval Scientific and Cultural Center of the Orient" by Almaz Yazberdiev.