Turkish writer: I was put on trial for talking about Armenian Genocide

Turkish writer: I was put on trial for talking about Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - Elif Safak, the most widely read female novelist in Turkey and a political commentator, in an interview with The Guardian has talked about her novel "The Bastard of Istanbul" and the way she was treated after its publication.

The story centers around Asya Kazanci and Armanoush Tchakhmakhchian and deals with their families and how they are connected through the history of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. At age nineteen, Armanoush travels secretly to Istanbul to search for her Armenian roots.

"I write about minorities and wanted to address the unspeakable tragedies of the past, to talk about the Armenian Genocide, share the grief, try to build bridges," Safak said.

"The novel was widely read in Turkey but I was attacked by the nationalist media and put on trial under article 301, which is supposed to protect Turkishness against insults. This article is so vague, no one knows what it means. The trial took over a year. There were groups on the streets burning EU flags and spitting at my pictures. I was acquitted but it was a turbulent time. I had to live with a bodyguard, which was surreal. What made it still more surreal was that, for the first time in Turkey, a work of fiction was tried. My Turkish lawyer had to defend my fictional Armenian characters in the courtroom."

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