The Telegraph reports that in the wake of possible threats after the assassination of journalist Hrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk has left his native Turkey behind for New York City, and is said to have told friends he has set no deadline for his return. “What I was told was more than mere rumour,” said prominent Istanbul columnist Fatih Altayli. “Pamuk recently withdrew $400,000 from his bank account and said he would leave Turkey and would not be returning to his country any time soon.”
Pamuk’s agent wouldn’t comment about the potential change, but the author has been under fire for “insulting Turkishness” – the dubious honor afforded to many a Turkish writer for speaking out on important issues, such as Pamuk’s acknowledgment that acknowledging that under the Ottoman empire Turks had triggered the genocide of one million Armenians nearly a century ago. But even the country’s foreign minister admits that matters are even more difficult in the wake of Dink’s murder. “People outside Turkey think you can be thrown into jail for opening your mouth,” he said. “They think there are hundreds of journalists and intellectuals in jail. This is all false.”
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