In an interview with The Guardian, well-known Turkish-British writer Elif Shafak told about the persecution and attempts to punish her after her novel “The Bastard of Istanbul” was published in Turkey. Her work covers the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
“I wrote about national minorities and wanted to address the unspeakable tragedy of the last century, tell about the Armenian Genocide, share this pain with the people, and try to build bridges,” said Shafak.
According to the writer, in 2006, her book began to gain popularity throughout Turkey. However, the Turkish nationalist-oriented media strongly condemned the novel, and the author was prosecuted under article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code for insulting the Turkish nation.
“Groups of people on the streets burned the EU flag and spat on my photos. Despite the fact that I was acquitted in court, it was a very difficult time. I had to be accompanied by a bodyguard all the time,” said Shafak.