In Turkey - Türkiye'de
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Turkish Who's Who
-- P --
In Turkey - Türkiye'de
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The Famous Person
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|P|| || |
O.P. drops a bomb...
Concerned secularistHürriyet Gazetesi
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||In the News: 14 October 2006... Pamuk wins the Nobel Prize for Literature -- in what amounts to a political reward for his public statements about the so-called Armenian Genocide (see below). The Swedish Academy said Mr. Pamuk's "quest for the melancholic soul of his native city," Istanbul, led him to discover "new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures." And, although the Academy claims to be uninfluenced by politics, last year's winner (British playwright Harold Pinter) is at odds with the British government -- and, this year too, there are political considerations in the choice of Pamuk.
Upon hearing about Pamuk's award, Arne Ruth (former editor in chief of the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter) said, "You're beginning to notice a certain sensitivity to trends -- the Academy is giving the prize as a symbolic statement for one thing or another. And Pamuk is a political symbol that they couldn't have overlooked when they made their choice."
16 December 2005 to 22 January 2006... To the relief of the majority of domestic and foreign onlookers (and 'freedom of speech' advocates everywhere), the Turkish trial of Pamuk (on charges relating to his off-the-wall allegations described in the next entry below) was cancelled even before it began. And, all charges against him were subsequently set aside. Editor's Comment: When O.P. first declared his allegations in Switzerland last February during a Euro literary tour, he appeared to be just another half-cocked fiction writer venturing out of his field of expertise. Or, worse, a writer with an ulterior motive -- to boost foreign sales of his latest book while angling for a shot at the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature... But instead of letting him sink in his own mire, the Turkish Justice Department (in a very poorly considered move) allowed a court action against him for (what amounted to) smearing Turkey's reputation. In foreign capitals, the TJD action against Pamuk cast him in the role of 'freedom of speech' martyr -- which provided more international attention and support for his blundering allegations than he could ever have hoped to garner for them on their own merit! Didn't anyone in Ankara think that through, before allowing such anemic charges and trial proceedings against him in the first place? <sigh...>
Pamuk turned 'instant historian' in February 2005 and, in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger, dropped a stunning bombshell. He said, "30,000 Kurds have been murdered here and 1 million Armenians and nobody dares to mention that. So I do it. And that's why they hate me." [Ed. Considering that Pamuk has long been one of Turkey's most popular novelists, his 'they hate me' remark seems curiously paranoiac.] Turkish public reaction to fiction-writer-turned-historian Pamuk's interview was generally hostile (and quite in tune with his self-fulfilling 'they hate me' remark). He was accused of creating publicity in order to pump foreign sales of his latest translated novel -- and three lawsuits were filed against him. In Istanbul, students collected his books and sent them back to his publisher. A poll on a Turkish News Website ran 4-1 against him. But subsequently, there was a lot of public debate about the so-called Armenian genocide issue. And it led to an offer by the Turkish government to the Armenian government to form a committee of 'wise men' from both sides of the issue -- to gather and assess all the historical evidence about the so-called genocide. The wise men's findings would be accepted by both Turks and Armenians as the final word on the subject. Disappointingly, the Armenian government rejected the offer -- letting a lot of steam out of their genocide claims, in the process.
March 2004: Over the past 10 years or so, Pamuk has steadily become Turkey's most popular and internationally renowned writer of fiction (eg. The White Castle, The Black Book, The New Life, etc.) and non-fiction (İstanbul, Memories and the City) -- see the İstanbul book cover at left. He was born in İstanbul, where his still lives with his family -- and his books have been translated into 15 languages.
A 'devout' secularist, Pamuk worries about the recent resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism in the world -- and in Turkey especially.
About a few of his books...
Of The White Castle, the New York Times said, "One of those rare novels that call into being a complete and self-sustaining world, shot through with a peculiar brilliance.
Of The Black Book the Independent on Sunday said, "This bizarre, dazzling novel turns the detective novel on its head, dislodging murder from its iconic status as the final mystery, and establishes Orhan Pamuk as on of the freshest, most original voices in contemporary fiction.
In reference to The New Life, the New Statesman said, "Pamuk is one of the world's finest writers... His writing is astonishing, for its scale and sentences, its depth and weave."
The Times Literary Supplement sums him up by saying, "Pamuk is Turkey's foremost novelist and one of the most interesting figures anywhere."
|Elif Pektaş gets a massage from 'the maid' (Aydemir Akbaş in drag) -- in this movie photo from Parayla Değil Sırayla
(It's Not The Money,
It's The Timing That Counts)
Click for enlargement!
|'Erotik' and Conventional Turkish Movie Star during 1970-1980.||See info about Elif Pektaş's movie career on LPT's Whole Earth Catalog of Turkish Movies.|
Born 1946, Died 2003 after a twenty year struggle with bone-marrow cancer. She was diagnosed with the disease the year after she married Melih Tansal who, grief-stricken at her funeral, said, "The disease was discovered the year after we were married -- and Elif struggled with it for the next 20 years. She tried every available treatment during that time, but in the end the disease won and she fell. She was a good, kind person. If she saw a homeless cat or a dog along her way she'd spare no expense to care for it. Her family nickname was 'Angel'."
|Big city mayor||Izmir's popular CHP mayor... is the only one of the three big city mayors who, depending on the accuracy of the pre-election polls, is likely to hold onto his job when the dust clears after the March 2004 local Turkish elections.
In the news: 28 March 2004... As predicted, Piriştina wins the Izmir mayoral seat in a landslide -- which, also as predicted, is the only big city mayoral post to elude the AKP on election day.
16 June 2004... Izmir in mourning -- Ahmet Piriştina dead of a heart-attack at age 52. Just 2 days before the planned wedding of his son in the nearby resort town of Çeşme, Mayor Piriştina perished overnight -- alone in his Izmir business suite. A very light smoker and drinker, Piriştina was reportedly in excellent health at the time of his tragic demise. Two days later, thirty to forty thousand devoted Izmirians -- many of them unable to hold back tears -- followed his funeral procession to the family's private cemetary where he was interred. Hürriyet Gazetesi, 16 June 2004
(See photo-article at left.)