Orhan Pamuk, 53, Turkish author and this year’s winner of the German Book Trade Peace Prize, discusses his life in Istanbul, threats to his personal safety, the urge to take a political stand, Turkey’s identity in Europe and his latest novel.
SPIEGEL: What is the most important difference between Europe and Turkey?
Pamuk: The bloody years of war and all the atrocities in European history have taught the Europeans that secular politics free of religious hatred is mainly a question of peace. This concept is not anchored in the same way in the consciousness of Turks, which has to do with the fact that the secular was forced upon us by the army. But that attitude has since changed.