Orhan Pamuk won't return to his country soon

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk is living in exile in the United States and is believed to be in fear for his life, reports the Daily Telegraph. Amid a climate of intimidation that has seen the prosecution and even murder of dissident intellectuals throwing into doubt Turkey's aspiration to the join the European Union, Mr Pamuk, 54, who is living in New York, is said to have told friends he has set no deadline for his return. Instead, according to the prominent Istanbul columnist Fatih Altayli, the writer has quietly gone into exile.

"What I was told was more than mere rumor," said Mr Altayli. "Pamuk recently withdrew $400,000 from his bank account and said he would leave Turkey and would not be returning to his country any time soon."

Following the murder of an ethnic Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, last month, Mr Pamuk expressed fears for his own safety. The writer enraged Turkish nationalists by acknowledging that under the Ottoman empire Turks had triggered the genocide of one million Armenians nearly a century ago.

Yasin Hayal, a nationalist charged with incitement to murder Mr Dink, made what appeared to be a threat against Mr Pamuk. He said: "Orhan Pamuk be careful."
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