The internationally renowned author Zülfü Livaneli has published his new novel entitled "Unrest", but is not allowed to advertise it.
The title alone was probably too hot, because the Istanbul transport companies, according to the author, declined to advertise the book in the subway, pointing to the exceptional state in Turkey.
Today, 70-year-old Zülfü Livaneli has become an institution in Turkey since the book has already sold 250,000 copies in the first two weeks. "But where book posters are banned today, books will be banned tomorrow," he says the author.
In the 70s he became known as a composer and soon reached an international audience; His compositions were played by Joan Baez, Maria Farantouri and Udo Lindenberg. The highlight of his Turkish music career was a concert in Ankara in 1997 with half a million visitors. He was known world-wide for his collaboration with the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, who was seen as a breaking road between the Greeks and the Turks. Together, Livaneli and Theodorakis were honored by the Federal Government in 1997 with a ceremony on the Petersberg in Bonn.
As a writer, Zülfü Livaneli has since made a second career by personalizing and dramatizing hot topics of Turkish society in novels. The fact that he sometimes changes on the margins of the so-prevalent stereotypes of Turkish society does not disturb his readers. On the contrary, his novel "Glückseligkeit", for example, in 2002, dealing with the honor killing in Turkey, it became translated in at least eight languages and was also a great success in Germany.
In his current book "Unrest", Livaneli attacks the fate of the Jesuits from Iraq and Syria, who are on the run from the terrorist Islamic state and have taken refuge in Turkey; next to this topic, as is the case with most of his books, he is working on violence against women in the Middle East.
Zülfü Livaneli has made a third career in his life as a politician. As a former parliamentary deputy of the Republican People's Party (CHP), he is currently in the opposition. "When I was around the age of 20, I was in prison, now I am 70 years old, and keep a vigil for my colleagues," said Livaneli to the Cumhuriyet, a newspaper close to the CHP. According to Livaneli, Turkish intellectuals are, as once the intellectuals of the Third Reich. "Some of them resist, the others arrange themselves with the regime, and others simply close their eyes and mouth."
Livaneli recalled that after the coup of 1971 he was often imprisoned and finally fled to exile in Stockholm and later to Paris where he stayed for eleven years. At that time he was young and unknown. If he went into exile again, he would be "unjust and selfish at the same time," because then he would leave many followers in the lurch. "That is why I will remain, whatever happens to me," he said, "people who live honorably must die honorably."
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