Europe has broken hearts in Turkey, Nobel laureate says

Europe has broken hearts in Turkey, Nobel laureate says

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Europe has broken hearts in Turkey, Nobel laureate says

Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006, speaks during a press conference before the opening of the Museum of Innocence in Istanbul on April 27, 2012. AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC

Turkish author and Nobel-laureate Orhan Pamuk recently spoke to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, saying the European Union has broken the hearts of many Euro-believers in Turkey.

Negative remarks from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, followed by the financial crisis, have "has made the realization of Turkey’s perspective on Europe difficult," Pamuk said.

"I am no longer upset because Turkey is not advancing towards Europe," Pamuk told El Pais. "Europe remains a dream for the upper classes, but the economic boom [in Turkey] has diminished the excitement. Merging with Europe is mostly an economic ambition."

Pamuk said that in his opinion Turkey's main problem is the Kurdish issue. "The government doesn't know how to deal with it with tolerance," Pamuk was quoted as saying. "They are using the old ways to get rid of the problem."

The Nobel laureate further commented on class struggles in Turkey, saying a new bourgeoisie was rising in Anatolia, and affluence is no longer limited only to those living in Istanbul. "There is a new bourgeoisie coming from Anatolia that is conservative and supportive of the Justice and Development Party [AKP]," Pamuk said. "This troubles the Istanbul bourgeoisie."

Pamuk also said the present government has "made Turkey richer and more successful."