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Turkish Writer Orhan Pamuk Wins Nobel Prize for Literature


Turkey's best-known current novelist, Orhan Pamuk, has won the 2006 Nobel Prize for literature.

In Stockholm today, the Swedish Academy paid tribute to the 54 year old writer's "quest for the melancholic soul of his native city," Istanbul. The Nobel citation says Pamuk, in his writings, "has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures." Pamuk still lives in Istanbul, where he is considered an influential social commentator.

He was the first author in the Muslim world to publicly condemn the Iranian fatwa-death edict against novelist Salman Rushdie.

In January, an Istanbul court dropped charges against Pamuk, who was accused of insulting the Turkish nation. Those charges stemmed from an interview-published in Switzerland in which he said that 30,000 Kurds and one million Armenians were slaughtered in Ottoman Turkey nearly a century ago.

Pamuk has 10 works published in Turkish, and many have been translated into English, German, French and Swedish. He gained wide acclaim in the West for his most recent novel, titled "Kar" in Turkish and "Snow" in the English version.

The story is set in the 1990s in an eastern border town Kars that once was a border crossing between the Ottoman and Russian empires. The central figure in the novel, an expatriate writer who lives in Germany, travels to the area to discover himself and his country.

The Prize will be presented in Stockholm in December.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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