The Name

The word KIRAATHANE has Arabic/Persian origins and is the old name given to a coffeehouse that was used as a place for reading and recitation in the times of the Ottoman Empire.

The House

Today, KIRAATHANE is the name given to the first literature house in Istanbul, which opens its doors to public on October 1, 2018. A place designed for the city’s writers and readers of all ages to come together to discuss literature, arts, and current affairs, KIRAATHANE functions as a “free word center” at a time when challenges against freedom of expression and those who exercise it continue. KIRAATHANE also hosts writers, poets, editors, translators, and publishers from around the world as guest speakers and/or participants of its “writer/artist-in residence” programme.

The Press

KIRAATHANE began operations as a small independent nonprofit press in January 2018.

KIRAATHANE seeks to produce high-quality literature that is often missed by money-driven mainstream presses. Our objective is on matching international authors whose books – fiction and non-fiction – have so far been neglected by Turkish publishers with the best possible translators of their work.

KIRAATHANE’s first books will be available from Fall 2018.

Recent acquisitions include:

  • Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them – Harper Collins
  • Pierre Michon, Corps du roi – Verdier
  • Pierre Michon, Vies minuscules – Gallimard
  • Pierre Michon, Les Onze – Verdier
  • Pierre Michon, Maîtres et serviteurs – Verdier
  • Vangelis Hatziyannidis, Oi Tesseris Toichoi – To Rodakio
  • Vangelis Hatziyannidis, O Philoxenoumenos – To Rodakio
  • Olivier Remaud, Solitude volontaire – Albin Michel
  • Linda Boström Knausgaard, Helioskatastrofen – Modernista
  • Linda Boström Knausgaard, Välkommen till Amerika –Modernista
  • Ray Loriga, Rendición - Alfaguara
  • Roberto Calasso, La Rovine di Kasch - Biblioteca Adelphi 
  • Roberto Calasso, Le Nozze di Cadmo e Armonia - Biblioteca Adelphi 
  • Roberto Calasso, Ka - Biblioteca Adelphi 


The Programme

The Istanbul Literature House has adapted to the pandemic-imposed conditions by digitising almost all of its events. Please visit our YouTube Channel for recordings of webinars as well as lectures and conversations that took place on site.

One of the highlights of our #Winter2021 Season is "Europeans" -- a solo show by Turkish video artist Ali Kazma which is on display in the house from 5 March to 30 April, 2021. You can read an essay on the show by art critic Sinan Eren Erk here.




Kıraathane Istanbul Literature House is an initiative of the not-for-profit company Kıraathane Ltd. We thank the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ankara and the Reva & David Logan Foundation for supporting the Istanbul Literature House.