Orhan Pamuk is a prominent Turkish novelist. He is widely translated, and has internationally renowned works including "The White Castle", and "Snow". Early in 2005 he won the prestigious peace prize of the Association of German Publishers and Booksellers,
In February, 2005, Pamuk said in an interview with a Swiss newspaper in February that "one million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it.", a clear reference to the Armenian Genocide. This comment led to several death threats, and inspired one local official to order the seizure and burning of his works. Since that time Pamuk has refused to speak to the press.
53-year-old Pamuk has been indicted by a prosecutor in Istanbul (under Article 301) on the grounds that his remarks amounted to "public denigration of the Turkish identity". The prosecutor has demanded a prison term of between six months and three years, according to Iletisim publishing house. The trial is expected to start on December 16, 2005.
- PRAGUE, 23 January 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A court in Turkey has dropped a case against one of the country's best-known writers, Orhan Pamuk, who had been charged with insulting Turkish identity. The news, which was broken by Pamuk's lawyer Haluk Inanici but which has yet to be officially confirmed, was quickly welcomed by the European Union. Pamuk's case was dropped on a technicality. The court had adjourned his trial in December to ask the justice ministry whether it should proceed. The justice minister, Cemil Cicek, responded last week, saying the decision was not his to make. So the court said the case could not go ahead.
- June 1, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk made a plea today for freedom of expression in Turkey, particularly in relation to the mass killings of Armenians carried out under the Ottoman Empire. The acclaimed Turkish writer was in Moscow to promote the Russian translation of his book, "Istanbul: Memories And The City."