An Irony of Fate

This is an irony of fate. Orhan Pamuk, who was tried for saying "30,000 Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in these lands," was awarded the Nobel literature prize on the same day the Armenian genocide bill was passed by the French parliament.

An Irony of Fate

These two points are being linked in every comment about the issue. Pamuk, who gained a considerable number of enemies with his statement, is bound to hear comments that if somebody curses Turkey like he did, that person will also get a prize.

A big "Armenian shadow" will be cast over this prize. In all likelihood, Pamuk himself is not happy with such a coincidence, either.

If all these things had not happened, such as Pamuk saying such big words, the subsequent controversy and the Nobel prize being announced right after the bill penalizing those who deny the purported Armenian genocide, we would now be talking about Pamuk's words, his literary competence and about the doors this prize would open for Turkish literature.

However, whether desired or not, his words will follow him like a shadow and some will regard the Nobel prize as an award for Pamuk's words and behaviors that 'offended' Turkey and the Turkish people.

Aside from all these discussions, Orhan Pamuk is Turkey's most well-known novelist.

His "opposing" attitude and "discourse" certainly play a part in his worldwide fame.

As a matter of fact, it is no longer an author's works that make him famous in today's world, just as it is not only "literary competence" that influences the Swedish Academy's decision who receives the Nobel prize.

All these will cause endless conflicts in both literary and political circles.

However, the truth despite all is that Pamuk has been awarded the Nobel Literature Prize in 2006. It is impossible to deny or ignore this.

Political conflicts, even crucial social events, may be forgotten with time but literature has an ability to resist time. Even though the Nobel Prize always causes controversy and it is claimed to be given for political reasons, it is the most respectable literature prize in the world.

None of today's conflicts will be remembered within a 100 years' time but Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish novelist's name will remain in the list of the Nobel literature prize.

If we leave all conflicts, praises and criticisms alone, Pamuk's Nobel Prize will increase his worldwide fame as well as the interest in the Turkish literature. It can also be said that Pamuk will serve as an impulsive force in Turkish literature's project of opening up to the outer world.

Ali Colak

'The Prize will not Change me and my Works'

Holding a press conference in New York yesterday, Pamuk stated the prize was given not only to him but also to the Turkish language, Turkish culture and Turkey and said he was very happy and proud of this.

Reminding the reporters that this was the first time Turkey was awarded a Nobel prize, Pamuk said "I am very happy, at least, for this reason."

Speaking at the library of Columbia University's Center on Global Thought where he teaches as a guest lecturer, Pamuk said he wrote The Black Book in the small rooms of this university 22 years ago.

"I am happy to receive the news on the prize at the same university," Pamuk said, adding the award wouldn't change him or his work.

Stating he found out the news upon a phone call at midnight, Pamuk said, "The Swedish Academy of Sciences chairman called me. He said I was awarded the prize and asked whether I would take it. I said I would take it. Claims that I would decline it are baseless."

Emrah Ulker, New York

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16