Pamuk decorated with France’s order of merit at Paris ceremony

Pamuk decorated with France’s order of merit at Paris ceremony

PARIS - Anatolia News Agency
Pamuk decorated with France’s order of merit at Paris ceremony

French Culture Minister presents Turkish author Orhan Pamuk with the order of merit at a ceremony. AA photo

France presented Turkey’s Nobel laureate author Orhan Pamuk with the Legion d’honneur order of merit Oct. 29 at a ceremony held in the French Culture Ministry in Paris.

French Minister of Culture and Communication Aurelie Filippetti presented the order of merit to Pamuk on behalf of his country and praised Pamuk, saying he was a distinguished author whose books have been translated into many languages and were read by millions across the globe.

She said she was especially touched by the author’s stories with an Istanbul theme. “Because of [your] Istanbul stories, I compare you to the French author Victor Hugo and your stories to “Les Miserables.” You look familiar in this sense.”

Pamuk said he was the only member of his family who didn’t speak French. “I have read French novels and looked at French paintings,” he said.

Touching on Turkish-French relations, Pamuk stressed the Ottoman-Turks looked at France as a model in political westernization.

Following the speeches, the French minister presented Pamuk with the order of merit.

Among the ceremony attendees was Turkey’s permanent representative to UNESCO Gürcan Türkoğlu, Paris Embassy officials along with Turkish and French guests.

On Oct. 26 Pamuk also received the Sonning Prize, Denmark’s highest cultural award, for his contribution to European culture in a ceremony at the University of Copenhagen.

In a recent article written for British daily the Guardian under the headline “Europe is turning away from Turkey and the rest of the world,” Pamuk criticized Europe, saying Europe had erected walls at its borders and was gradually turning away from the world.

“As the slogan of liberte, egalite, fraternite is slowly forgotten, Europe will sadly turn into an increasingly conservative place dominated by religious and ethnic identities,” Pamuk wrote.