Sunday, October 11, 2009

Orhan Pamuk on trial again


Nobel Prize laureate writer Orhan Pamuk will be on trial again to pay 36,000 TL in compensation for his statement "On this ground 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed". In France the author is awarded with the symbolic "Grand Medal" in the meantime.

Supreme Court General Judicial Assembly decreed for opening a court case against writer Orhan Pamuk, laureate of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The author faces a fine of 36,000 TL (16,655 €) in compensation because of the following statement he made during an interview published in Switzerland in February 2005: "On this ground 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed".
Pamuk was awarded the symbolic "Grand Medal" by Paris Municipality Mayor Bertrand Delanoe on 6 October. Pamuk said in the ceremony: "I am receiving this medal also on behalf of the city of Istanbul where I live". In Turkey Pamuk was just saved from a prison sentence. However, for his ideas he has been trialed for compensation for 4 years now.

More herreeee

Turkeys needs confidence, not fear

I found the links of the serie of articles I wrote as guest columnist for Turkish Daily news between 2007 and 2008. Today the third one.
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Friday, February 16, 2007
HANS A.H.C. DE WIT

Turkeys needs confidence, not fear

Istanbul cannot be renamed Constantinople anymore: Istanbul is already a brand name
Is Turkey acting responsibly in the international scene? Looking at it from the point of view of an independent communication manager, I would say “no,” at least “not always.” Turkey wants to be loved very much and as everyone knows, if you are desperately seeking love, you won't get it.

Actually, Turkey is facing hot issues these days, mainly unsolved problems of the past. Problems which became ghosts haunting Turkish identity: the alleged Armenian genocide (or shall we call it, for a change, democide) and Cyprus. There is also the ongoing hostility with some of Turkey's neighbors, like Armenia, Greece (still) and Iraq. But to make these things clear, Turkey must withhold its traditional way of reacting in order to become a serious and rational sparring and business partner.

International statesmen and diplomats always appear rational and employ PR agents to guide them and make them understandable. Why not in Turkey? Since when is nationalism more important than the prosperity and health of a nation and its citizens? Nationalism becomes more and more an empty word these days.

What to do in a colorful world:
Is Turkey reliable for peace and security in the region? For sure, most Turks believe that they protected Europe from communism. They have a point, but the international arena has changed dramatically. The current situation in the Middle East is in fact a perfect chance for Turkey to show its negotiating skills since its has good relations with all countries in this region. But somehow, its image as a former conqueror doesn't help. Turkey has done a terrible job in convincing the world that its intentions since Atatürk are sincere; that it can bring mediation to the region and can be a stabilizer of importance. None of the Muslim Arabic countries can fulfill this duty or has the intention to do so.

Continue reading here

Day Opening - October 11


Venice, Italy (click on picture to enlarge)