freedom of speech

Η τέχνη βρίσκεται στη μοναδική ικανότητα των ανθρώπων να ταυτιστούν με τον Αλλο.

Ορχάν Παμούκ

Art lies in the unique ability of people to put themselves in someone else's shoes.

Orhan Pamuk

Ferit Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul, 1952) is a turkish novelist, awarded with the Nobel prize in literature in 2006, because "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures (Nobelprize.org). Even if, prizes are never enough for the evaluation of a person.

One year before, in 2005, Pamuk was prosecuted, because of him saying that "30,000 kurds and 1 million armenians were killed in these lands and nobody dares to talk about it" during an interview by a swiss magazine. He was referring to the mass killings of armenians and kurds in Anatolia in 1915. The prosecution was due to a law about "insults to turkishness", which states "A person who, being a Turk, explicitly insults the Republic or Turkish Grand National Assembly, shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months to three years" (wikipedia). Finally, a few months before the Nobel prize, the charges were dropped.

Pamuk is an excellent writer. He has been a victim of lack of freedom of speech, but let me say this: When the lack of freedom of speech is not so obvious, manhood might be in higher danger. Lack of freedom of speech exists - sometimes even more intense - also in countries where there is no law about "insults to nation-ness". In order to fight such phenomena, the first step to take is to recognize them.

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