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    Tufah Turenc; Two Turkish contributions to world art: Fazil Say and Orhan Pamuk

    Hürriyet Haber
    26.10.2005 - 10:17 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkish society has provided the world artistic platform with two names in the past years. The incredible success of these two names has of course made us very proud. One of these is pianist and composer Fazil Say. The other is writer Orhan Pamuk. Each of these men has, through their own efforts, become world famous. The Turkish government has done nothing to support them. Let us praise them constantly, but let us also not see this as enough. We hope that tens more Turkish artists will join their ranks. Because despite all the negative forces in our country, an incredible generation is coming up from behind.

    The problem is, there is no way for them all to display their talents. If only the government would take some interest, I have no doubt that even more Fazil Says and Orhan Pamuks would run from success to success on the world stage.
    Fazil Say tours the world giving concerts. He gives more than 100 annually. And the news that Fazil Say's two albums have made him the first Turkish artist to break into the American Billboard ratings is really wonderful. As for Orhan Pamuk, his books have been translated into more than 50 other languages. The sales of his writing are off the charts.
    International fame is not that easy of a mantle to carry. A person can make mistakes as a result of the incredible self-confidence rooted in this success. Orhan Pamuk has been making contradictory statement lately, statement not befitting for a writer of his stature. Is he doing this on purpose? Or does he want to receive more attention when he is abroad?
    He thinks he is helping keep Turkey in balance with his statements. But it is not true: the reaction in his own community is growing with these statements. Actually, Pamuk had already been the focus of world attention before he made these statements. So why has he begun speaking like this when he is abroad? If it was to win the Nobel Prize for literature, Orhan Pamuk has lost many things. He decided on his own to blame Turkish society for many things. So he has lost the right to complain about the stance of the society against him.
    There is another detail I wanted to note here. Fazil Say, with all of his worldwide concerts, has to deal constantly with visa problems. Actually, many western countries have offered him passports, which would ease the visa work. But he has never accepted. "I want to travel the world with my Turkish passport," he has said. And so you see, Fazil Say and Orhan Pamuk are both artists who have made us all proud. But it is important to recognize the difference between them too.
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