Bad news about the Turkish writer Elif Shafak from the highly appealing (if a little confusing) website The Ledge ("an independent platform for international literature. At the heart of the site is a series of interviews with authors, translators and critics from around the world" -- thanks Wah-Ming):

Turkish ultranationalists have once again filed a complaint against the Turkish writer Elif Shafak (1971), author of The Saint of Incipient Insanities, The Gaze and The Flea Palace, charging her with ‘insulting Turkishness.’ The complaint focuses on two passages from Shafak’s latest novel, The Bastard of Istanbul. Like Orhan Pamuk, whose statements about ‘the Armenian question’ in a newspaper interview raised the ire of the nationalists, Shafak is being charged with transgressing Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which makes denigrating Turkishness a criminal offense.

For more information, please contact Fran van den Bogaert at

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