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22/06/2005

Orhan Pamuk to win Friedenspreis

Turkish author Orhan Pamuk is to win what is possibly the most coveted German literary prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. The 25,000 euro prize is awarded by the German Book Trade Association every fall to coincide with the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The association's foundation board issued the following comment on their decision: "In Orhan Pamuk, we have honoured a writer who delves like no other into the historical traces left by the West in the East, and the East in the West. He is committed to a cultural concept entirely based on understanding and respect for others. Europe and Muslim Turkey come together in Orhan Pamuk's literary work. In his novels 'The White Castle', 'My Name is Red' and 'Snow', he combines the Oriental narrative tradition with stylistic elements of Western modernity, developing images and concepts that our society will need in a wider understanding of Europe. Pamuk seizes upon the burning issues of the present, fighting for human and minority rights and taking a stand on his country's politics as dauntlessly as he looks back at its great Osmanian past."

Pamuk, certainly the best known and most successful Turkish author in Germany today, was sharply attacked in Turkey a few weeks ago for daring to call the Turkish genocide against the Armenians by its name. See our feature "The Turkish trauma", an interview with Orhan Pamuk that recently appeared in Die Zeit.
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