Artist Karolin Fişekçi speaks at Fatih Altaylı’s program

Artist Karolin Fişekçi speaks at Fatih Altaylı’s program

Artist Karolin Fişekçi speaks at Fatih Altaylı’s program

Karolin Fişekçi says she and Orhan Pamuk met during the opening of an exhibition in 2009 in Istanbul and they were together over the past 2,5 years. Hürriyet photo

Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk has denied having a relationship with Turkish-Armenian artist Karolin Fişekçi via an official notice issued by his lawyer Jan. 23 in which he requested she stop making statements about him to the press.

Despite the warning, Fişekçi discussed the topic of her supposed relationship with Pamuk as a guest of Fatih Altaylı’s program “Teke Tek” on Habertürk TV on Jan. 23.

“I did not want to hide it,” Fişekçi said. “It was a secret during our relationship, and I had to respect Pamuk’s private life. But when it was revealed, people said many things, and I spoke in order to clarify the situation.”

When asked if she was looking to gain fame through Pamuk, Fişekçi said, “How many painters are known in Turkey? Everyone knows Bedri Baykam on the street. Painters do not appear in the media. I showed Pamuk’s human side. Yes, he was known through his books, but I wanted people to know him through me, too.

“We met during the opening of an exhibition on April 16, 2009, in Istanbul. I had an article I wanted to send to him. He gave me his email address, and after that we came together […] We were often together over the past 2.5 years,” she said.

Offended by the notice

Fişekçi said she was offended by the statement made by Pamuk. “We have lots of emails between us, but I do not want to reveal them. People have said I am a liar, a schizoid. I was shocked when I received the official notice. I laughed, too. A person who sees our messages can also see the relationship between us. He did not personally tell me to not speak; instead I got the notice. For me, a man should speak by looking a woman in the eye.”

Fişekçi said her friends from the art world supported her and had recommended a lawyer to her. “This is a kind of violence. Violence does not only mean beating someone. This notice is like a threat. I do not know about the legal process. The reaction from the media has also been weird. They almost swore at me.”

She said she felt bad about the situation but did not have a desire for revenge.

“We have not seen each other for about two months. We have not spoken following the release of these statements. He says there is no relationship, but I say there is. If he had warned me to not speak about it, I would not have spoken.”