Anti-Turkish campaign is dangerous: Pamuk

24th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 October 2005, FRANKFURT - Receiving the German book trade's peace prize in Frankfurt, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, 53, warned Sunday that politicking against Turkey's entry into the European Union was "dangerous".

24 October 2005

FRANKFURT - Receiving the German book trade's peace prize in Frankfurt, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, 53, warned Sunday that politicking against Turkey's entry into the European Union was "dangerous".

"Imagine that someone is knocking at the door and is refused entry. He will be angry at not being allowed to come in," Pamuk told an audience of top German politicians and literary figures in the Paulskirche, a Frankfurt monument.

"At the moment we are seeing anti-Turkish feelings becoming more and more obvious." He said such sentiments had been voiced in the campaign before Germany's general election last month.

"I find that dangerous," said Pamuk, whose novel "Snow" has been a best-seller in translation. He warned that anti-Turkish feeling in Europe would prompt anti-European feeling in Turkey, and said the stark choice ahead was between peace or nationalism.

Pamuk, who is to face trial in Istanbul in December over a remark that "30,000 Kurds and a million Armenians were killed in Turkey" and "almost no one dares speak but me", mainly skirted round that topic during the prize acceptance speech, which he delivered in Turkish.

But he told the Frankfurt audience that an author's work would be incomplete if he did not mention the untold history of the Kurds, "a minority in our country".

The previous day, Pamuk underlined at a news conference that he had not termed the killings "genocide", the word used by most international historians to describe the events of 1915. Pamuk has been indicted in Istanbul for allegedly "denigrating the country".

The annual peace prize, awarded by the Boersenverein, the German association of booksellers and publishers, is valued at 25,000 euros (30,000 dollars) and is Germany's leading literary award. It honours writers whose work leads to reconciliation and peace.

A poet, Joachim Sartorius, praised Pamuk at the ceremony, saying the novelist had explained Turkey to Germans who did not understand it.

Last year's prizewinner was novelist Peter Esterhazy of Hungary. The prize is always awarded on the final Sunday of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's biggest exhibition of books.

DPA

Subject: German news

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