Turkey has launched an investigation into Nobel laureate novelist Orhan Pamuk over insulting the Turkish flag and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the country's founding father, in his most-recent book Veba Geceleri (Nights of Plague).
Even though Pamuk previously said that he wrote the novel with great respect and admiration for "libertarian and heroic" leaders, lawyer Tarcan Ülük from the Aegean province of İzmir filed a complaint to the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on the grounds that the novelist insulted Atatürk.
In his complaint, Ülük also claimed that Pamuk incited the public to hatred and enmity in his novel, Turkish pro-government daily Sabah reported on Nov. 8.
The lawyer added an interview given by the novelist to a Swiss daily at the time he received the Nobel Prize to further prove his point, Sabah said.
The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office then launched an investigation, but sent the case to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office since the novel's publisher is in that city.
Pamuk was called to testify in Istanbul, where he denied all accusations.
"I didn't write anything that would imply Atatürk. I don't accept the accusations," he told the prosecutor's office.
The Nobel laureate previously faced prosecution on the same accusations, but the prosecutor's office decided for non-prosecution on the grounds that there wasn't any direct insult to Atatürk.