Orhan Pamuk says he misses Turkey’s ‘good old days’
ROME – Doğan News Agency
AFP photoTurkey’s Nobel laureate writer Orhan Pamuk, speaking to Italian daily La Repubblica, has said he “sometimes misses the good old days when Turkey’s problems were ignored and not discussed.”
Pamuk is in Italy for the screening of “Innocence of Memories,” a film made by British documentary maker Grant Gee and inspired by Pamuk’s novel “The Museum of Innocence.”
“There has been a dramatic change in Turkey over the past 15 years. This change is stronger than it was during the first 50 years of my life. Now they say Turkey is important. But we pay the price by having all problems of the world; migrants, restricted democracy, pressures on freedom of expression and our strange relations with Europe. Sometimes I miss the good old days when Turkey’s problems were ignored and not discussed,” he said.
Asked if he was “proud” of being identified with Istanbul, Pamuk said the city had helped him discover himself.
“I did not plan to be a writer of Istanbul 35 years ago. But being identified in this way made me discover myself. Maybe that is why I named my autobiographical novel ‘Istanbul,’” he added, referring to his 2003 memoir.
The Museum of Innocence, which was opened in 2012 in Istanbul’s Çukurcuma neighborhood, has survived without any private or state funding or support, which Pamuk said he was particularly pleased with.
“But political crises have unfortunately caused a decrease in the number of tourists visiting Turkey and we are worried about next year too,” he added.