Turkey's Nobel laureate author Orhan Pamuk has told a Russian news agency that he has no hard feelings about his country and that he would always like to live in Turkey.
In a visit to Moscow to promote his recent book, “Masumiyet Müzesi” (Museum of Innocence), Pamuk spoke to Interfaks, saying: “I love my country a lot and I only want to live there. Of course I understand some of the risks involved in my situation. This is a serious threat. But I do all that I do out of love for my country and my native language.”
Pamuk, who drew ire from some circles in Turkey when he made comments outside the official state line about Armenian allegations regarding their forced deportation from Ottoman lands in 1915, had been threatened by one of the suspects in the case of slain Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
He also said Turkey could never give up its traditionalism. “Today, Turkey is a country between technology and tradition. Just like in the West, people learn to use and consume products made possible by technological development. But we will never leave our traditions. Do I think this is a problem? No, I don't think so. For in this there is a certain Turkish uniqueness.”
He also appeared on the Rus 100 TV station during a visit to St. Petersburg, where he pointed out difficulties in freedom of expression in Russia. He said: “Although the process regarding freedom of expression in Turkey is slow, our problems are being gradually solved, just as in the case of accusations made against me earlier. … Meanwhile, there are problems in Russia as well regarding freedom of expression. If not, journalists wouldn't be getting shot I think journalists and writers who receive threats should be protected by the state.”