Iran censors verb ‘kiss’ in famous Turkish novel
ISTANBULIran’s Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry has given permission for the publication of “Madonna in a Fur Coat” (Kürk Mantolu Madonna), a 1943 work by celebrated Turkish author Sabahattin Ali, on the condition that the verb “kiss” be removed from the book, daily Hürriyet has reported.
After deciding to translate the novel, Zeynep Abdi Golzar, a Tabriz-origin translator who is living in Ankara, sent the translation to a publishing house in Iran. In accordance with Iranian laws, the publishing house sent the novel to the ministry for approval. Sometime later, Golzar received a letter from the ministry, requesting some changes in the translation and the removal of all the verb of “kiss” in the novel.
Golzar subsequently changed the sentence “he kissed her naked back” on page 71 to “his lips approached her naked back.” The statement “she put her face on my cheek” was completely removed from the book.
“They asked me to remove the sentence ‘he kissed her naked back.’ I thought if I could do it. Some are key sentences and I did not want to remove them completely. Since the problem was the verb ‘kiss,’ I changed the sentence into ‘his lips approached her naked back.’ They asked me to remove the sentence ‘she put his face on my cheek.’ I did not have a chance to change it, so I removed it. They also asked me to remove the sentence ‘he was drunk after he had a bit of it, as his warm breath touched her face.’ I also removed it because I could not change it,” Golzar said.
After the changes, the book received approval for publication, she said. “One thousand copies of the book were published and all of them have been sold. Now the second edition is being printed,” the translator said.
Golzar said she had most recently translated Yusuf Atılgan’s “Canistan” before sending it to the ministry on Nov. 25, 2016.
“But I haven’t received an answer yet,” she said.