Thursday, October 20, 2005

Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's most prominent novelist, is being prosecuted by the Turkish state because he made insulting remarks about Turkey's past. In a Swiss newspaper he recently remarked that he is the only one in his country who dares to discuss the genocide of Armenians by the Turks in 1915/16.
He was right: he was immediately accused by a state prosecutor of un-Turkish behavior.

Whatever the historical truth of the genocide may be (I read shocking articles about the genocide, but I know there are historians who disagree), it is quite ridiculous that a modern state is suppressing Orhan's freedom of speech this way. If this rule would be the rule in the EU and the USA, many commentators and writers would be looking for other jobs (I know: this in itself is not a bad idea - yes, some of you are thinking along these lines about me too).

The way Orhan is being treated is significant for what the Turkish state is: a multi-faced organism with modern and dangerous masks. It is ridiculous to start negotiating with such a state about full EU-membership.

Dutch under-secretary for European Affairs Atzo Nicolai finally had the guts to expose this insanity.

In a remarkable op-ed piece in today's Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant (not on-line), he wrote that the treatment of Orhan should have consequences for the 'negotiations' between the EU and Turkey (read more about it on the Dutch website of Elsevier, the weekly for which I wrote a weekly column and to which I will return in January).

He is absolutely right. Salman Rushdie wrote in The Times a strong and convincing op-ed piece about Orhan: 'How can a country that victimises its greatest living writer also join the EU?'
Now Nicolai is ringing the alarm bell.

It is time to wake up.


Blogger NoMediaLies said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Pamuk already shows signs of fear as The FAZ wrote. See these two links:

4:07 AM  
Blogger NoMediaLies said...

Could someone tell me which part of my post was so 'evil' or 'shocking', that it had to be deleted.

6:49 AM  
Blogger dissident said...

How can countries like Germany stay in the EU when there Pamuk-like writers and editors after being kidnapped, are being emprisoned months and even years in isolation without any judgment !

Are these demoncretures like the Dutch Nicolaï or EU commissioner Rehn not the same fundamentalists like the murderers of Theo Van Gogh or those in the Jyllands-Posten and so many other fundamentalists ?

If Olli Rehn is refusing membership to Turkey for reason of the Pamuk-case, why is he not excluding Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and other EU member-States out of the EU for the same reason in Pamuk-like affairs ?

Mr. Salman Rushdie too has years ago demanded the right of free speech for these prisoners in Germany and other persecuted similar people in several member-States of the EU, but this cruel state-terrorisme is being kept in total silence by press and media !

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leon, I basically agree with your message, Turkey is not ready to join the EU.

However, I'd like to comment on one thing: I know your personal views on anti-Holocaust revisionism laws, you support them. In other words: according to you people should accept the offical Holocaust story and no debate is possible.

Here comes the part which I find odd.

How's that different from Turkish government policy restricting its people from Armenian Holocaust revisonism?

Once again Leon, a double standard. Is Jewish blood more red than Armeinan Christian blood from your perspective?

God Bless,


12:14 PM  
Anonymous generic cialis 20mg said...

Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple

10:59 PM  

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