Quill and Quire

Book news

« Back to

The ongoing persecution of Orhan Pamuk

Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk’s life has been threatened “ not for the first time “ by “an ultra-nationalist gang,” reports The Guardian.

According to reports in the Turkish press, the author of international bestsellers including My Name is Red was targeted as part of a campaign to sow chaos in preparation for a military coup, scheduled for 2009.

The suspects have now been remanded in custody, among them retired military officers and the lawyer Kemal Kerincisz. The latter has been instrumental in the pursuit of a series of writers and intellectuals through the courts, filing cases against Pamuk himself as well as the novelists Elif Shafak and Perihan Magden and the murdered journalist Hrant Dink.

A year ago, Pamuk cancelled a planned German book tour after he was publicly threatened by Yasin Hayal, the murderer of Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink. However, the report fails to mention whether Hayal is among “ or connected to “ the 13 men being prosecuted. In fact, not a whole lot is known about the case.

The charges brought against the suspects are not yet known. The investigation is being carried out under the terms of a law restricting media coverage.

“This could be a big development,” continued [Istanbul’s Free Expression Initiative spokesperson Sanar] Yurdatapan, suggesting that because figures very high in the military establishment have been connected with such groups it remains to be seen whether the cases will be brought to trial. “We are afraid to have hope.”


January 29th, 2008

4:25 pm

Category: Book news

Tagged with: censorship, Politics