June 13, 2019 - 12:04 AMT
Lawyer had to defend Armenian fictional characters in Turkish court

Turkish-British novelist Elif Shafak has revealed that her lawyer had to defend her Armenian fictional characters when the author landed in court over her bestselling novel "The Bastard of Istanbul", Buziness Live says.

The book delves into the Genocide of Armenians, which Turkey has long been denying.

She was acquitted (and the penal code on which her case was based has been amended since, though not sufficiently).

But she had to listen to people she had made up in her book being quoted in court. “My Turkish lawyer had to defend my Armenian fictional characters,” she has said.

There is no suggestion that her most recent novel will face an official probe — at least not yet. But 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World is already being attacked by (apparently organised) trolls and bots. All the messages accuse the writer of indecency and obscenity.

Turkish right-wing nationalists have been harassing fiction writers for decades. In 2006, they took aim at Orhan Pamuk, Turkey’s most celebrated novelist. He was accused of “insulting Turkishness” in a newspaper interview in which he spoke of the 1.5 million of Armenians who died.

In May, novelist Abdullah Sevki was briefly arrested for his graphic depiction of a paedophile sex abuse scene. He is now under investigation.