His highly acclaimed books include Istanbul: Memories and the City part memoir , part tribute to the city, and novels Snow, My Name is Red, The New Life, The Black Book, The White Castle.
In January this year, a Turkish court dropped charges against Pamuk who had been accused of “blatantly belittling Turkishness” over an interview that he gave to a Swiss newspaper in February 2005. The statement that caused the stir:
Thirty thousand Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in Turkey. Almost no one dares to speak out on this but me.He was referring to the killings by Ottoman Empire forces of thousands of Armenians in 1915-17, and called them "genocide", a charge that the Turkish authorities deny. Pamuk faced up to three years in jail. Now that's courage.
Opinion on Pamuk's win in Turkey is apparently very divided, the Herald Tribune reports. It also quotes EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, who has been pressing Turkey to scrap the law that took Pamuk to trial. He recalls a conversation he had with Pamuk in Istanbul last year.
I asked him what best I could wish him. He replied: 'That I can write books again and free my mind from all this harassment. I'm a novelist.'Rehn continues:
Today's Nobel Prize is good news for world literature, but also good news for artistic freedom and for freedom of expression in particular. It is good news for all those who want to speak, search, learn the truth, pursue dialogue, exchange thoughts and knowledge, not just in Turkey, but everywhere else in Europe and in the world.For much more on Pamuk, visit his website.