Friday, February 18, 2005

Khatchig Mouradian has just left a comment to an entry on Orhan Pamuk's Snow - and since the entry is now hopelessly buried somewhere in the January archive, I'll quote the comment here (thank you, Khatchig!):

Dear Veronica Khokhlova,

I have read Orhan Pamuk's "Kar" (Snow) and Hitchens' review. I believe Pamuk is courageous enough. In a recent interview, he said: “30 thousand Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in Turkey. Almost no one dares speak but me, and the nationalists hate me for that” (The Swiss Tagesanzeiger, February 6).

Earlier, in an interview with the French weekly “L’Express” (13 December 2004), he was asked about the effects that the process of integration with the EU has on Turkey. Part of his answer was (I'm translating), “People have started little by little to speak, for example, about the Armenian question; whereas in the past, those who courageously went against this taboo were strongly attacked.”

Such declarations might be easy for me and you to make, but for someone like Pamuk, one of the icons of modern Turkey who lives in Istambul, these words can get one into a lot of trouble. Below is an example of what I mean:

Charge Filed Against Writer Orhan Pamuk

Turkish Daily News
Feb 17 2005

Charges have been filed against internationally renowned Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk for statements he reportedly made during an interview with Swiss daily Tagesanzeiger, published in the newspaper's Feb. 6 issue, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Anatolia Professional Association of Owners of Scientific and Literary Works (ANASAM) President Mehmet Özer and attorney Mehmet Üçok filed the charges at the Kayseri Public Prosecutor's office.  

Pamuk allegedly said in the interview that that 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians had been killed in Turkey.

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