Orhan Pamuk is the author, most recently, of The Museum of Innocence. He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Fading Dream of Europe

A portrait of Atatürk in the Cagaloglu neighborhood of Istanbul; photograph by Andreas Herzau from his book Istanbul, which collects his images of the city and includes an essay by Elif Shafak. It has just been published by Hatje Cantz.
In the schoolbooks I read as a child in the 1950s and 1960s, Europe was a rosy land of legend. While forging his new republic from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, which had been crushed and fragmented in World War I, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk fought against the Greek army, but with the support of his own army he later introduced a slew of social and cultural modernization reforms that were not anti- but pro-Western. It was to legitimize these reforms, which helped to strengthen the new Turkish state’s new elites (and were the subject of continuous debate in Turkey over the next eighty years), that we were called upon to embrace and even imitate a rosy-pink—occidentalist—European dream.

The Fading Dream of Europe

A portrait of Atatürk in the Cağaloğlu neighborhood of Istanbul; photograph by Andreas Herzau from his book Istanbul, which collects his images of the city and includes an essay by Elif Shafak. It has just been published by Hatje Cantz.

In the schoolbooks I read as a child in the 1950s and 1960s, Europe was a rosy land of legend. While forging his new republic from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, which had been crushed and fragmented in World War I, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk fought against the Greek army, but with the support of his own army he later introduced a slew of social and cultural modernization reforms that were not anti- but pro-Western. It was to legitimize these reforms, which helped to strengthen the new Turkish state’s new elites (and were the subject of continuous debate in Turkey over the next eighty years), that we were called upon to embrace and even imitate a rosy-pink—occidentalist—European dream.

My Turkish Library

At the heart of my library is my father’s library. When I was seventeen or eighteen and began to devote most of my time to reading, I devoured the volumes my father kept in our sitting room as well as the ones I found in Istanbul’s bookshops. These were the …

Freedom to Write

The following was given on April 25 as the inaugural PEN Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Memorial Lecture. In March 1985 Arthur Miller and Harold Pinter made a trip together to Istanbul. At the time, they were perhaps the two most important names in world theater, but unfortunately, it was …

The Anger of the Damned

I used to think that disasters strengthened people’s sense of community. Right after the great Istanbul fires of my childhood and the earthquake of two years ago, my first instinct was to share my feelings, to discuss the disaster with others. But this time, seated facing the television in a …