A low-priced, new paperback version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf has become one of Turkey's best-selling books.
The Finance Ministry of the German state of Bavaria administers the copyright to the notorious work, filled with Hitler's anti-Semitic tirades and plans for world domination. The ministry requested Friday that Germany's Foreign Ministry instruct its diplomats in Turkey to investigate possible lawsuits against the publishers, who did not have permission to reprint the book.
"The book Mein Kampf should not be reprinted," Bavarian Finance Minister Kurt Faltlhauser said in a statement. "The state of Bavaria administers the copyright very restrictively to prevent an increase of Nazi ideas."
Various reports say that 50,000 copies of the book have been sold in Turkey in the past few months, since the release of two new paperback versions.
However, no one is absolutely sure why 80 years after its publication, Mein Kampf â which many critics have called badly written â is climbing the best seller lists of Turkish book chains. Some point to growing anger in the predominantly Muslim country over violence between Israel and Palestine, while others cite frustration with U.S. foreign policy in neighbouring Iraq.
Still others believe it's simply a case of readers satisfying a long-held curiosity with the book, which is selling for as little as $5.50.
The book's recent popularity is troubling, said Silvyo Ovadya, a leader in Turkey's Jewish community.
Ovadya is "astonished a 500-page book that sows the seeds of racism and anti-Semitism can sell at such a low price," he told Agence France-Presse.
Over the past few years, there have also been several film adaptations of Hitler's life, including Max, about a Jewish art teacher's relationship with his young art student Adolf Hitler; TV movie Hitler: The Rise of Evil; and German film Downfall, which received a best foreign film nomination at this year's Oscars and opens in select Canadian cities Friday.
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Germany itself has banned the sale of Mein Kampf (My Struggle) and only offers it in libraries for research purposes.