Nobel Prize-winning writer may be prosecuted for crimes against the state | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: November 17, 2021 at 12:57 pm

Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk is being investigated by the Turkish government for allegations of insulting Turkeys first president and ridiculing the Turkish flag in his novel Nights of Plague, published in March.

Novelist Orhan Pamuk (AP)

Pamuk has denied the accusations.

An initial complaint was made in April by lawyer Tarcan lk, who alleged that the book incited hatred and animosity by insulting Mustafa Kemal Atatrk and ridiculing the Turkish flag. The initial complaint was dismissed due to lack of evidence, but lk appealed the decision, resulting in the current investigation.

Turkish Law 5816, passed in 1951, makes it illegal for any Turkish citizen to insult or defame the memory of Atatrk. Pamuk would face up to three years in prison if he is found guilty.

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Pamuk faced similar charges in 2005, accused of insulting Turkishness with a comment he made to a Swiss newspaper. These charges were later dropped.

The 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Pamuk, "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures," according to the Nobel Committee.

In Nights of Plague, which I worked on for five years, there is no disrespect for the heroic founders of the nation states founded from the ashes of empires or for Atatrk, Pamuk said in a statement to Bianet. On the contrary, the novel was written with respect and admiration for these libertarian and heroic leaders.

According to PEN America, a nonprofit organization defending freedom of expression, at least 25 writers were imprisoned by the Turkish government last year, the third-highest number globally.

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Nobel Prize-winning writer may be prosecuted for crimes against the state | TheHill - The Hill

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