1664) Orhan Pamuk And William Saroyan

Orhan Pamuk Abandons Turkey and Moves to New York following Threats to his Life - A Sad Story - Recently Reported by the Media, February 2007. Below is a commentary that was written back in October 2006

Orhan Pamuk and William Saroyan

October 31, 2006

William Saroyan, born in Fresno California in 1908, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1940 for his book ‘’The Time of Your Life.‘’ . . His parents were Armenians who had immigrated to the United States from Bitlis in eastern Anatolia in 1895, like thousands of others and long before the re-location of the Armenians to Syrian parts of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 as a result of Armenian revolts and uprisings. Saroyan wrote many books, including ‘’My Name is Aram'' (1937) and ‘’The Human Comedy, (1943)’’ which tells the story of an American family in wartime. One of his most famous stories ‘’Antranik of Armenia’’ (1935), tells the story of one of the Armenian terrorists who bragged about how many moslems he had killed, and boldly states that the enemy of the Armenians were the Russians, not the Turks.

In 1940, William Saroyan publicly rejected the Pulitzer Prize because of his strong feelings about commerce patronizing the arts. He visited Turkey and his parents’ town Bitlis in 1964 together with the most famous Anatolian, Fikret Otyam. In his book, ‘’Here Comes, There Goes You Know Who (1961)’’, William Saroyan states the following as if he was talking about Orhan Pamuk:

‘’Every man destroys himself sooner or later by means of things said to be good or by means of things to be bad. Good or bad, it comes to the same thing. The man killed himself.’’

Orhan Pamuk, born in Istanbul in 1950 to a well-to-do family, won the Nobel Prize in literature on Oct 12, 2006. According to a poll conducted by Sabah, 70% of Turks were not happy. He also wrote many books, including “Istanbul” which tells the story of the incredible city located along the Bosphorous, both in Europe and Asia, and his own family history.

Orhan Pamuk gave an interview to the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzelger on 05/02/2005 and he stated that “30,000 Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in Turkey and no one spoke about it exept him.’’ With this bad statement, which is distortion of facts and a lie, since moslems and Turks were also killed but ignored, Orhan Pamuk killed himself in the eyes of millions of Turks. The Nobel Committee, looking for any excuse to publicize anti-Turkish propoganda, and pushed him to the forefronts of world of literature.

William Saroyan, with some anti-Turkish sentiments, was known for his love of people and of America. It is difficult to say the same thing for Orhan Pamuk since he has his characters utter so many anti-Turkish and Anti-Ataturk (even anti-Fevzi Cakmak and others) statements in his novels that one can not see any love towards his people or his country in his noels. Perhaps he has an opportunity to reverse this between now and December 10 when he delivers his acceptance speech, as was suggested in an “Open Letter to Orhan Pamuk” on October 16, 2006, recommending that he read books, such as Hacin by Zebercet Hacin which tells the killings that took place on both sides during the Frebch occupation, and talk to historians who have been studying this tragedy for many years.

Both William Saroyan and Orhan Pamuk have their roots in Anatolia and both made statements on the death of Armenians with prejudice and not knowing the real truth, since neither was a historian. There was no “Armenian genocide”, as claimed by most Armenians and blindly accepted by many due to a continuous misinformation campaign. The massacre of innocent Ottoman Moslems by the Armenians who wanted to create a state of their own on lands where they were never the majority, going back to the 1890s, led to a civil war during the First World War. These acts forced the Ottoman Government in 1915 to relocate the Armenians in eastern Anatolia to Syrian parts of the empire and away from the war zones with the consequential death of Armenians. This is also what is stated by many wetsern writers and University professors who tell the truth through their research as opposed to fabricated stories and lies told by some Armenians and their supporters.

The following statement by the creator and the first President of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, presents his views on the Armenian issue, which is overlooked by those who falsely advocate a mythical Armenian genocide and propogate false and fabricated information.

‘’The Armenian issue, which aims at meeting the economic interests of the capıitalist world rather than bearing in mind the veritable interests of the Armenians themselves, was best resolved with the Kars agreement. The friendly ties between two industrious people coexisting peacefully for centuries have been satisfactorily established anew.''

Armenians around the world should heed the words of Ataturk and establish good relations with Turks everywhere rather than creating hatred among the people who call United States home.

Yuksel Oktay, PE
October 31, 2006

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