Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Insulting Turkishness.

Things are a bit slow in the land of literature these past few days. Nevertheless, I have been interested in the plight of Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, who is to face trial for insulting "Turkishness":
Shafak joins a roster of more than 60 writers and journalists to be charged under Article 301 of the Turkish criminal code since its introduction last year. University professors, journalists and novelists such as Perihan Magden, Orhan Pamuk and now Shafak have been charged under legislation drawn so broadly as to criminalise a wide range of critical opinions. Writers not only face the prospect of a three-year jail term, but the prosecutions also lay them open to a campaign of intimidation and harassment waged by rightwing agitators.
The interesting part here is that she argues that it is the character in her novel, "The Bastard of Istanbul" that insulted "Turkishness", not her. Sounds like a bunch of right-wingers taking something trivial a tiny bit too far.

Sounds familiar doesn't it...?


  1. yes, i was also thinking things are a bit slow ...

    i think because it's the summer hold in the northern hemisphere and everyone has gone to the beach with their books!

    this is a pretty interesting story ... particularly in the wake of the orhan pamuk trial. and yes, it reminds us of a place not so far away (but luckily nowhere near as bad to its writers)

  2. Oooh yes... summer, it completely slipped my mind!

    Yes, that place so far away isn't as bad to its writers. Unless of course the writers touch upon some really, really sensitive issues...


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