One of the leading newspapers in Turkey, the Hürriyet daily, has refused to publish an interview with Orhan Pamuk, Turkey’s most famous writer and a Nobel laureate in literature, because the author voiced his objection to a constitutional reform package to be voted in April, the T24 news portal reported on Tuesday.
T24 said the interview with Pamuk, which was conducted by Hürriyet’s Washington representative Cansu Çamlıbel, was to be published on Monday.
The daily did not publish the interview with Pamuk on Monday, reportedly because Pamuk expressed his objections to the constitutional reform package and said he would vote “no” in the referendum scheduled for April 16.
Among other things, the reform package seeks to introduce an executive presidency in Turkey, with many fearing that it will create a one-man rule and end the separation of powers in the country.
In the meantime Pamuk, who made a statement later on Tuesday about the reports concerning the interview with him, said the reports are “unfortunately true.”
Speaking to a anti-censorship platform, Pamuk said Çamlıbel had a long and pleasant interview with him during which she asked Pamuk about his views on the referendum.
“I said I would vote ‘no’ and explained the reasons for my decision. The interview was eventually not published,” Pamuk said.
Hürriyet is a part of the Doğan Media Group, which recently attracted widespread criticism for firing TV presenter İrfan Değirmenci because he announced on social media that he would vote “no” in the referendum.
Değirmenci declared in 20 messages he posted on Feb. 10 that he would vote “no” in the referendum: “’No’ to the one who sees scientists, artists, writers, cartoonists, students, workers, farmers, miners, journalists and all who do not obey as the enemy.”
“With his messages posted on social media on Feb. 10, our colleague İran Değirmenci clearly took a side in a topic that is being debated among the public. Therefore, we are canceling his contract,” said the Doğan Media Group in a statement last Saturday.