October 09, 2005
There is nothing controversial about Orhan Pamuk

The guardian runs a story about the awarding of the next Nobel prize for literature. According to the story, there's heated debate over "controversial" writer Orhan Pamuk.
But the article is wrong. There is absolutely nothing controversial about Pamuk. The Armenian Genocide is only a controvery in Turkey. And it's disgraceful for Turkey to live in that kind of denial. And disgraceful for the Nobel prize committee and/or The Guardian to consider Pamuk controversial. The controversial bit is the lack of freedom of speech in Turkey.
Let's hope the EU leaders don't bow down and remove the requirement that Turkey acknowledge this genocide (and introduce actual freedom of speech in the process) if Turkey is ever to be considered for EU membership. The EU is in no need for a fiercely nationalist, citizen-oppressing bully among the member states.

The wikipedia entry on the genocide is a testament to how this sad kind of pressure works. In the age of storytelling, all stories are "disputed" - because obviously there's always some idiotic alternate interpretation of reality. But that doesn't mean the Nobel prize committee or The Guardian should pander to such views.

Posted by Claus at October 09, 2005 11:59 AM | TrackBack (0)
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