The novel, published in Turkish in 2002, and translated into English in 2004, tells the story of a Turkish poet who travels to the border city of Kars after having spent 12 years as a political exile in Germany. The novel’s main character, Ka, witnesses firsthand the clash between radical Islam and Western ideals along his journey.
The idea to translate the novel into Armenian originally came from Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was murdered in 2007.
“We are very pleased to bring together Armenian readers and the work of a Nobel laureate author,” said Hamazkayin Chairwoman Lilit Kalstyan, adding that intercommoned dialog would develop with cultural exchange.
“Pamuk honestly for the first time gave a voice to the pains experienced by Armenian society,” she said, extending an invitation to Pamuk to visit Armenia. “We will get in touch with the publishing house within a short time. It will be our pleasure to host such a great author in Armenia.”
Pamuk is the first Turkish author whose work has been translated into Armenian since Armenia’s independence.
According to Data provided by the Yerevan State University’s Turkish Studies Department, the last time literature was translated from Turkish to Armenian was during the Soviet era.
Yerevan State University Turkish Studies Department Chairman Professor Alexander Safaryan said mutual translations in Turkish and Armenian literature carried great importance for establishing dialog between the publics
Yerevan State University Philology expert Dr. Rupen Hovhannesi Melkonyan, who is working on his first doctoral thesis about Turkish literature, said: “The story of the novel takes place in the southeastern city of Kars. Its theme is around Armenia and its culture. That is why the book appeals to us. Also, it will be a pleasure for us to read a Nobel laureate author in Armenian.”
Ara Galoyan, a journalist at weekly Armenian 168 Jam (168 Hours) newspaper, said he was very excited about the translation of the book. “Pamuk bravely tells [the story] about the bitter experiences of Armenians. It is very important to share our pain.”