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Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk likens Egypt coup to Garcia Marquez novel

Turkish Nobel laureate author Orhan Pamuk has said he is closely watching the latest developments in Egypt, likening the coup led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Gabriel García Márquez’s famous novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold.


Marquez’s 1981 novel recounts the murder of a man in Columbia, and particularly focuses on its onlooking characters’ feeling of guilt over the incident.

Pamuk referred to the book in an interview published in German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, in which he also accused Western countries of “betraying their own values” regarding the Egypt coup.

“He [al-Sisi] annouced to the world that he would stage a coup two days before the army took control. The whole world, especially the West, turned its head and did not want to hear anything,” he said.

Stressing that the Egyptian army was killing its own people, Pamuk added that not only the U.S. government and the EU, but also wider Western society behaved like it had “no responsibilities” in Egypt.

He said that despite the influence of the West on Arabic countries decreasing after the Arab Spring, Western countries could still have said “No,” and could “obviously have said ‘a military coup cannot be tool for political conflict.'”

“Western values that have ideals such as democracy and human rights either exist or they are surrendered to political or economic calculations,” the Nobel laureate said, highlighting that important political bodies of the Western world were unable to describe the situation as a “coup” even after two days.

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