Turkey’s Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk has warned the country could descend into sectarian conflict and blamed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the climate of insecurity as was brutally illustrated by Saturday’s lethal bomb attacks in Ankara.
Pamuk, the 2006 winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, told Italian daily ‘La Repubblica’ that Turkey’s increasing instability was linked to Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) failure to retain a parliamentary majority in June.
“The electoral defeat enraged Erdogan,” Orhan told the daily, arguing that the setback, which resulted in new elections being scheduled for 1st November, was also behind the recent resumption of hostilities between the army and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants.
“He didn’t succeed in convincing the Kurds to give him their votes for his plan to create a presidential republic,” Orhan said.
“That is why he decided to go to the polls again on 1st November. But neither the government nor the army were satisfied with how things were going and they agreed to resume the war against the Kurdish movement.”
Asked if he feared a return to civil war, Orhan replied: “Certainly I fear that. Especially in the 1970s the streets of my city (Istanbul) witnessed a real conflict between people of the left and those of the right.
“Anyone over 35 has terrible memories of that period and never wants to go back there. I am worried (for Turkey) because I know that in the end Erdogan wants to govern alone at all costs. He does not want to share power.”