Thursday, December 15, 2005

The blog that's been covering issues surrounding the impending Orhan Pamuk trial

is of course the always excellent Literary Saloon; click on that link for the latest post, which has lots of good links to press coverage, and here's an earlier-in-the-week post with some more links.

And here's Pamuk's own comment in this week's New Yorker. Pamuk says there that he does not think he will end up in jail:

This makes it somewhat embarrassing to see my trial overdramatized. I am only too aware that most of the Istanbul friends from whom I have sought advice have at some point undergone much harsher interrogation and lost many years to court cases and prison sentences just because of a book, just because of something they had written. Living as I do in a country that honors its pashas, saints, and policemen at every opportunity but refuses to honor its writers until they have spent years in courts and in prisons, I cannot say I was surprised to be put on trial. I understand why friends smile and say that I am at last “a real Turkish writer.” But when I uttered the words that landed me in trouble I was not seeking that kind of honor.

Pamuk ends with an incredibly depressing but entirely persuasive coda:

As tomorrow’s novelists prepare to narrate the private lives of the new √©lites, they are no doubt expecting the West to criticize the limits that their states place on freedom of expression. But these days the lies about the war in Iraq and the reports of secret C.I.A. prisons have so damaged the West’s credibility in Turkey and in other nations that it is more and more difficult for people like me to make the case for true Western democracy in my part of the world.

1 comment: