Famous Turkish Author Urges Recognition of Turkish Atrocities

ISTANBUL (Combined Sources)–In Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper–renowned Turkish author Orhan Pamuk discussed the necessity to speak truthfully of the massacre of one million Armenia’s and 30,000 Kurds.

"This topic should stop being taboo," Pamuk stressed. He said that though many avoid discussion of the topic–he is ready to speak.

"State leaders consider that there is no need to address it–as there is a problem in relations with Armenia? I am not interested in the issue of state relations with Armenia. Many people were annihilated here," he said.

In his latest book–Snow–Pamuk deals with the theme of clashes between civilizations and the role of Islam. A young Turk named Kerim Alakusoglu returns to Istanbul for his mother’s funeral. In a dangerous political atmosphere–the truth concerning Kerim and the snow-covered old world city of Kars is revealed.

Pamuk–one of Turkey’s leading novelists–began to write regularly in 1974. Five of his books have been published in English: Beyaz Kale (The White Castle–1991)–Kara Kitap (The Black Book–1995)–Yeni Hayat (New Life–1997)–My Name Is Red (2001)–and Snow (2004). His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Though Pamuk’s views have been condemned by various circles in Turkey–Turkish historian Hilal Berktay–praised Pamuk as an honest and decent intellectual for having the courage to address an issue many avoid.

Berktay recalls similar criticism when he expressed his views on the Armenian genocide–in 2001.

"I think that we must get rid of the taboos that surround the events of 1915," Berktay had written in the French weekly L’Express–adding–"For decades Turkish public opinion has been lulled to sleep by the same lullaby. And yet there are tons of documen’s proving the sad reality."

"As more and more honest and sincere historians and public intellectuals of integrity keep speaking up–this dam will be breached–this dam of silence will be breached…this will be a fundamental dimension of internal democratization of Turkish society," Berktay said.

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