AYRINTI YAYINLARI PUBLISHING HOUSE
The first title by the Ayrinti Publishing House was Tools for Conviviality by Ivan Illich published in 1988. The founders of the publishing house were a few dreamers who came from leftist tradition and they never gave up the mission of questioning themselves and the life itself. Their funds were neither inherited nor borrowed nor donated. Ayrinti started from scratch with no support at all and it was a product of labor, only labor of its founders. The publishing house owes its independence to this reality and understanding. This stand, which was adopted from the very early days on, bore fruits in time.
The guidelines of Ayrinti are as below:
- A socialization which “will not produce relationships based on power” to be traced.
- Authoritarian and totalitarian approaches to be rejected; “voluntary solidarities” which are not based on power relations but on a new “ethical” understanding that questions itself to be continuously followed.
- The “spiritual” side of life was not to be overlooked.
- Efforts to be made so that an understanding, which excludes “economic reasoning” and puts special emphasis on culture, arts, festivity and love, may flourish.
Today, Ayrinti Publishing House is 30 years old. We will soon publish our 1000th book. We are still loyal to our original stand. If we have managed to survive until today, we owe it to our handful readers who responded well to our stand.
Now we are planning to publish more “disturbing” books relying on these readers again. And finally, we think that we have showed that an alternative publishing is possible.
Our range of series include Fiction, Critical Studies, History, Selected Essays, “Heavy” Books, Navy Blue Books, Underground Fiction, Classics, Poetry, Turkish Literature, ScholaAyrinti, Philosophy, Cinema, and Art & Theory. The Fiction series, focusing mainly on writers unbeknown to the Turkish readership, also makes a point of publishing the works of prominent voices in modern literature. The Critical Studies series contains critical treatises on such themes as modernity, culture, technology, ecology, ethics, future day designs, education, sexuality and the media, as represented in the works of theorists whose vital contributions to rethinking the concepts of “left” and “politics” are widely acknowledged. The titles in our History series are characterized by an emphasis of “fact” over “event” and a closer association with the “ruled” rather than the “rulers.” The “Heavy” Books series brings together some of the most thorough and penetrating texts of our times, characterized as cornerstones of human culture. The Navy Blue Books series consists of “deep digging” essays on some of the less thought aspects of human experience. The Underground Fiction series aims to air the voices of rebels, losers, daydreamers, blasphemers, “white niggers,” downhill climbers, cliff-jumpers, wanderers and the like... ScholaAyrinti series includes the academic texts of mainly Turkish scholars. The Art & Theory series echoes the words expressed by Foucault: “If that house or lamp might be a work of art, why not my life?” This series draws our attention to the danger of art’s becoming lighter, commercial and producing power relations by transforming into an expertise.
During these 30 years, Le Dernier Exile by Dragan Babic, La Philosophie dans le Boudoir by Marquis de Sade, Snuff and Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth and The Sex Revolts by Simon Reynolds & Joy Press were the titles prosecuted according to Turkish Penal Code. All of these cases, after the Istanbul Chief Prosecution Office demands that the title concerned should be scrutinized by the Prime Ministry Council for Protecting Juveniles From Obscene Publications and an expertise should be prepared, an investigation process starts. Then the council that scrutinized the book, prepares a report stating that it insulted moral feelings of Turkish people, that it was generally against the moral standarts of Turkish people, therefore it violated the Turkish Penal Code (Article No. 426) and it was obsene. This report was sent to the Chief Prosecution Office. Evaluating the report, the Chief Prosecution Office applies to the Istanbul Penal Court of Peace, demanding that the book should be collected and the publisher should stand trial according to the Turkish Penal Code (Article No. 426) and the trial process starts. In the end, we are acquitted all of these trials but we have had to spend lots of money, energy and time.