December 16, 2005

The trial of Orhan Pamuk.

Pankaj Mishra writes:
Mr. Pamuk is accused of a committing a crime by mentioning, in an interview with a Swiss newspaper, that "a million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds" were killed in Turkey after World War I. The Armenian massacres are a widely documented fact. But it is an officially taboo subject in Turkey; and the government, nationalist political groups and press immediately joined in attacking Mr. Pamuk....

So what explains this latest Turkish assault on free speech? It won't do to blame religious extremists. Most of Mr. Pamuk's detractors belong to the political right wing, which in Turkey means that they are determined secularists. The prosecutor who instigated the legal proceedings belongs to a longstanding secular Turkish state that has cracked down on Muslim women wearing headscarves more harshly than has France.

5 comments:

Dave said...

Pamuk writes about the trial in the New Yorker.

erp said...

Isn't it interesting that so many of our "allies" like Turkey, France and Japan to name a few, actually reinvent their history to make themselves look better. It's only in the U.S. that we spin the truth to make our country look worse.

Dave said...

Most countries re-invent their history to make it more palatable to themselves.

For what it's worth, my ex-wife's family is Turkish, and all of them think the government's official line on the Armenians is BS. I suspect that a lot of Turks feel the same way.

37921 said...

Hell, most people re-invent their history to make it more palatable to themselves. Why should countries be any different?

Arthur Parry said...

Good God.

The Salman Rushdie fatwa provided a pretense for the west to proceed with the clash of civilizations, India is picking all the trouble in Kashmir, and “the freest news media in the world” held back from war reporting for fear of being unpatriotic?

I sympathize with Pamuk, but what else are we being asked to swallow in this article?