NOVELIST PAMUK: ERGENEKON WANTED TO KILL ME

Today's Zaman
Sept 2 2008
Turkey

Nobel Prize-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk has said he was
targeted for assassination by Ergenekon, a political crime gang that
had allegedly been making preparations to topple the government and was
readying to perpetrate bloody attacks on several high-profile figures.

In an interview with the Sabah daily to promote his latest novel,
"Masumiyet Muzesi" (The Museum of Innocence), Pamuk said he believes
there are murderers in Ergenekon and that they wanted to kill him.

"It is unethical to protect those murderers for political reasons. This
is not an ethical country if mafia leaders and retired generals plan
to have people murdered and they do it over and over again, and they
blackmail people in this way. I have to say that protecting Ergenekon
members is unethical," he was quoted as saying yesterday by Sabah.

In response to a question as to whether or not he believes the
judiciary will follow through to see that the Ergenekon gang members
receive just punishment, Pamuk said he could not comment on the
subject. "You should ask this question to the politicians. It seems
believable to me that a murderer cooperated with another and that this
other one made a phone call with another, and so on, but I don't read
about Ergenekon every day. This is not how I live my life," he said.

He noted that Ergenekon has been politicized and criticized this. "It
is not important whether they are Ataturkist, Islamist, liberal,
conservative or leftist. This is an ethical issue for me. I am
convinced that there are murderers," he stated.

The indictment against Ergenekon, made public on July 25, said
the organization incited the perpetrators of deadly attacks on
important public figures. The planned victims allegedly included
Pamuk, Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink, journalist Ugur
Mumcu, businessman Ozdemir Sabancı and writer and scientist Necip
Hablemitoglu. The gang was also planning to launch bloody assaults
on several high-profile personalities, including Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, former Chief of General Staff Gen. YaÅ~_ar Buyukanıt
and journalist Fehmi Koru.

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