FRANKFURT–Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk is standing by his controversial remarks about the killing of Armenia’s and Kurds–even though he could ultimately go to jail.
Pamuk–who is charged with insulting his country’s national character–is set to go on trial in Turkey on December 16. He received the German Book Trade’s annual Peace Prize over the weekend.
"I repeat–I said loud and clear that 1 million Armenia’s and 30,000 Kurds were killed in Turkey," he told reporters Saturday at the Frankfurt Book Fair. He added–"I stand by that."
Controversy has surrounded Pamuk since he told a Swiss newspaper in February that–"30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenia’s were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it."
He was referring to Kurds killed over the past two decades during Turkey’s conflict with Kurdish guerrillas–branded as a terrorist group by the US and European Union–and to Armenia’s killed during the Genocide that started in 1915.
If convicted–he could be sentenced to as long as three years in prison.