Friday, October 13, 2006

Controversial Turkish Author Wins Nobel Lit Prize

From the Guardian:

Orhan Pamuk, the acclaimed Turkish novelist acquitted of criminal charges of denigrating his country, [has] won the Nobel prize for literature. . . . The decision to award the prize to a writer and campaigner who advocates Turkey's European ambitions, and is a searing critic of authoritarian trends in his country, came as a boon to freedom of expression. But Pamuk, a hero to Istanbul liberals, is reviled by his country's nationalists who see him as a traitor. . . .

Best known for the novels
Snow and My Name Is Red, which explore Turkey's position as a largely Muslim country with European aspirations, poised between east and west, between the Middle East and Europe, between ancient and modern, between religion and secularism, Pamuk first attracted international attention with his third novel The White Castle.

The mild-mannered writer was hauled before an Istanbul court last December for "belittling Turkishness", a criminal offence, after he told a Swiss newspaper that the massacres of more than one million Armenians in Turkey [in 1915] and of more than 30,000 Kurds in Turkey [in the 1990s] were taboo topics in his country. . . . Although Pamuk was acquitted, the notorious article of the penal code remains, and dozens of less well-known writers and journalists are being prosecuted in the clampdown on freedom of expression.

Check Our Catalog for Orhan Pamuk.

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