Nobel winner back in Turkish court

Six individuals are suing Orhan Pamuk for his insult to Turkishness

Novelist Orhan Pamuk can’t shake remarks he made to a Swiss magazine in 2005, that “30,000 Kurds and a million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it.” That caused him to be charged and tried for “public denigration of Turkish identity” under Article 301 of Turkey’s penal code later that year, but the case was subsequently dropped in the wake of international outrage. Now he’s facing compensation claims from six individuals—including nationalist lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, who has filed cases in the past against Pamuk—who have been given leave to demand $30,000 in personal damages arising from the “insult” to Turkishness. Their claim has been rejected twice previously, but was yesterday upheld by the country’s highest appeals court. The case will now be reassessed. The legal assault, perhaps not coincidentally, comes at a time when a new novel from Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, has become a bestseller in Turkey, raising Pamuk’s popularity in his homeland.The Museum of Innocence is the story of one man’s lifelong unrequited love. “It’s about virginity, about the policing of women who don’t follow the rules,” said his British translator Maureen Freely. “It’s very controversial in its way, putting down things that have never been admitted to before by a male writer.”
The Guardian

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