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    Ertugrul Ozkok: My last column on Orhan Pamuk

    Hürriyet Haber
    20.10.2005 - 11:53 | Son Güncelleme:

    In front of me I have a letter from a student who participated in a talk program on CNN, hosted by Tayfun Ertan, with Orhan Pamuk as a guest. According to the letter, this student wanted to ask Pamuk a question during the program, but was prevented from doing so. There are questions I also would like to ask. The program began at 10 at night. Two hours before the start of the program, a gas station in the middle of the city had been destroyed by a car loaded with A-4 explosives. The aim was clear. It was an attempt which could have killed thousands of people. And it was clear who was behind the bomb....

    So it was the perfect time to ask the following question:
    "Orhan Pamuk, the PKK terrorist who put this bomb in Maslak (the center of Istanbul), if killed one day by a policeman's gun, what category would he or she fall into? The "poor Kurdish person" killed by the "murderous Turk" category?
    Yes, this question should have definitely been asked of Pamuk.
    Because that night he made a correction to words he had spoken previously. He said that "Turkish security forces were also among" the 30 thousand people that have been killed in the ongoing struggle. At which point, I expected that Tayfun Ertan would have asked this:
    "Do the 30 thousand people killed consist only of Turkish security forces and separationist Kurdish guerillas?"
    What about the small children and women massacred by the PKK in villages? Which category do we stick them into?
    Following Orhan Pamuk's correction to his previous words, the next day, I combed through the foreign press to see signs of whether anyone picked this up. I couldn't find anything. If any of you find anything, please let me know.
    So why am I writing about this?
    Orhan Pamuk is a very important intellectual. His words echo in the foreign press. Which is why he must be careful with every word he says. His words about the Turks killing 30 thousand Kurds found lots of space in foreign press. Though no space was given to any words in defense of this country and its people.
    The so-called intellectuals in this country continually degrade this country, label its people murderers. Never a word is spoken about the murderous gangs that face the country.
    This will be my last column on the subject of Orhan Pamuk. I hope the next time I mention him, it will only be in reference to the Nobel Literature Award. The reason I won't be writing about him again is that I am under a lot of pressure. People are complaining that I am making him a target. After all, local authorities in Anatolia have called for the mass collection and destroyal of his books. A prosecutor has opened a case against him. So, just as I am about to criticize him, others are making him entirely defendable.
    I do not debate his literary status. I just write about my feelings about the label he has tried to stick on us as a people. And I advise you: Plug your ears against the big lies being told about your people.
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