Turkish author faces criminal charges

Sept. 1, 2005 at 12:18 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk faces three years in prison if convicted on charges of "public denigrating of Turkish identity," his publisher says.

Pamuk, 53, was charged after a Swiss interview in which he said discussing certain topics such as the 1915 Armenian massacre and the war with the Kurds were off-limits in his country, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Because no one talks about such topics, "therefore, I do," he was quoted as telling the newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in February.

Tugrul Pasaoglu, Pamuk's publisher and an editor at the Istanbul publishing house Iletisim Yayinlari, said the acclaimed novelist faces trial for "public denigrating of Turkish identity" Dec. 16.

Pamuk's attorney told the Post, "There is nothing that constitutes a crime in this interview."

Pamuk's books including "My Name Is Red," have been translated into more than 20 languages.

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