Turkish Writer Bags French Award


Iran Book News Agency
July 18 2012

Turkish noted author Elif Safak received France’s high awards- the
medal of Knight of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre National
des Arts et Lettres).

IBNA: Elif Safak, the noted and successful author, had won the award
in 2010. While handing the award to the writer during the reception
at France’s cultural centre, French Ambassador Laurent Bili especially
stressed the fact Safak has spoken about the Armenian Genocide.

The ambassador particularly said: “The Bastard of Istanbul (The
Father and The Bastard) initially written in English was translated
into Turkish in 2006 and became one of the best sellers. The book sold
in more than 100 000 copies in France and in many other countries. It
received high appraisal of readers of different nationalities. The book
thoroughly handles the issue that the Armenian Genocide is forgotten,
which became a reason for you to be considered a betrayer and to be
insulting Turkish identity. A case was launched against you.

However, happily, the case was dismissed, but I know how deeply you
were affected. But the biased attitude of the Turkish people didn’t
discourage you from your courageous work.”

Elif Å~^afak is a Turkish writer who writes in both Turkish and

Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

Elif Shafak has emerged as one of the most distinctive voices in
contemporary literature in both Turkish and English. She has published
twelve books, eight of which are novels.

Her “The Forty Rules of Love”, was published in the U.S. in February
2010. Selling more than 600,000 copies it became a record best-seller
in Turkey. Shafak is also a best-selling author in Italy, France
and Bulgaria.

Her other book, The Bastard of Istanbul, was the bestselling book of
2006 in Turkey and was longlisted for the Orange prize. The novel,
which tells the story of an Armenian and a Turkish family through
the eyes of women resulted in charges being brought against Shafak
for “insulting Turkishness” under Article 301, but the charges were
subsequently dismissed.

The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) is
an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of
Culture, and confirmed as part of the Ordre national du Mérite by
President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. Its purpose is the recognition of
significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation
of these fields.

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