Aydın Doğan Award presented to Orhan Pamuk

Aydın Doğan Award presented to Orhan Pamuk

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Aydın Doğan Award presented to Orhan Pamuk

The Aydın Doğan Foundation Executive Board Committee dedicates this year’s award to the field of novels, presenting its 19th award to Nobel Prize winning novelist Orhan Pamuk at a ceremony on April 16. DHA Photo

The 19th Aydın Doğan Award was presented to Turkey’s Nobel laureate writer Orhan Pamuk on April 16 at the Istanbul Hilton Hotel. 

The selection committee said Pamuk was rewarded for “masterfully bringing together the eastern and western poles and being one of masters representing Turkish novels in the world.” 

The Aydın Doğan Foundation Executive Board Committee had decided to dedicate this year’s award to the field of novels, and Pamuk received his monetary award of 50,000 Turkish Liras and an award statuette.  

The foundation’s executive board president, Hanzade Doğan Boyner, said they had come together to award a “great literary master.” 

“Frankly, it makes me excited but a bit frightened to speak about Orhan Pamuk. I am not competent enough to speak about such a great literary master. This is why I wanted to leave the speech to the head of jury, but as the president of the foundation, I could not escaped this mission. So I ask you to listen to what I say as the thoughts of a reader. I used to be an actor when I was a child because I had desire to be able to live different lives ... When I had a life away from this dream, I filled this gap with books. And Pamuk’s works have become my masterpieces. They got me into characters and stories, feeling different lives and different realities,” Doğan Boyner said. 

“None of his books are routinized. The past is connected to today, dead is connected to life ... He sometimes brings long-term political dissolutions into individuals and opens quite different doors to us, as in ‘Snow.’ He sometimes explains many graces of our social structure while showing how love turns into passion, as in ‘The Museum of Innocence.’ In ‘My name is Red,’ he made us smile and surprised us. He eternalized our city in ‘Istanbul,’ putting it into the world literature canon like Dostoyevsky’s St. Petersburg. As one of his readers, I sincerely thank him for enriching my life,” she added.

The selection committee, headed by Hürriyet Publishing Consultant Doğan Hızlan and made up of İnci Enginün, Nüket Esen, Semih Gümüş, Handan İnci, Turan Karataş, Jale Parla, Ömer Türkeş and Metin Celal Zeynioğlu, held a meeting on Feb. 6 and unanimously decided to present the award to Pamuk. 

Following a cocktail party, the ceremony started with a mini concert by harpist Merve Kocabeyler and then a short film introducing the foundation, award and selection committee members. 

Received award from Aydın Doğan 

Following Boyner’s speech, a film featuring a talk with Pamuk was screened. Then Pamuk received his monetary award and the award statuette from the Aydın Doğan Foundation Founder and Honorary Chairman Aydın Doğan. 

In his acceptance speech, Pamuk reflected on his life as a novelist. 

“When I was writing my first novel 40 years ago, I applied to win an award given to unpublished novels. If I had won this award, my novel would have been published, but our literary environment was so weak 35-40 years ago that they did not publish my first 600-page novel even though it won the award. I remember thinking about filing a suit against the publisher and giving ads to newspaper to explain the situation. That was 40 years ago. Nobody was interested in Turkish literature then. Neither the world nor Turkish citizens were interested in Turkish novels. We did not have a powerful middle-class enjoying novels,” said Pamuk. 

“The art of novel appeared in the 1850s in Europe. We took it from them and filled this literary style with our own troubles, dreams and memories. … I now believe that the future of Turkish novel is very bright,” he added.