Yasar Kemal Receives German Peace Prize

BONN (Reuter)–Turkey’s best-known living writer–Yasar Kemal–currently under a suspended prison sentence for breaking a freedom of expression law–was named this year’s winner of a prestigious German peace prize Thursday.

The prize committee of the German Book Trade said Kemal had described the reality of his country with an "incorruptible eye."

"As an advocate of human rights he has dedicated himself to the poor–the exploited and those persecuted for political or ethnic reasons," the committee said.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel congratulated the 73-year-old author of the internationally-known novel "Memed–My Hawk."

Kemal is due to accept the prize in Frankfurt on October 19.

A Turkish court last October confirmed a 20-month suspended jail sentence against Kemal for writing an article in a book on freedom of expression which was deemed to have promoted Kurdish separatism.

The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade recognizes a literary commitment to higher ideals.

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