Friday, 16 December 2005

Turkish non-delight

Today the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk went on trial in Istanbul, the city he loves and describes so well. He is accused of "insulting Turkishness" by acknowledging - in an interview with a foreign magazine - the Ottoman genocide of Armenians. If he is convicted, I hope the EU suspends negotiations on accession, as the Turkish government's refusal to allow any discussion of the events of 1915 is unacceptable in a Member State. It is also unhealthy, where would Germany be if it allowed no discussion of its past - or indeed my own country of its history of colonialism?

Such restrictions on freedom of expression are unworthy of a great culture.

I hope one day to be able to read Orhan Pamuk in the original, but having only studied Turkish for a few months, this seems a long way away!


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