Istanbul: Nobel-winning writer VS Naipaul
has pulled out from a literary event in Istanbul following
protests over his critical views on Islam, organisers were
quoted as saying Wednesday.
The Turkish media has "politicised" the author`s
participation and "the essential goal of the event and VS
Naipaul`s contribution as an author has been overshadowed,"
the statement, carried by Anatolia news agency, said.
The pull-out decision was taken in mutual agreement
with the author, the statement, released jointly by organisers
and Naipaul`s literary agent, added.
The gathering of the so-called European Writers
Parliament, scheduled to start tomorrow, is part of events
marking Istanbul`s status as European Capital of Culture this
year, bestowed by the European Union.
Some Turkish participants had threatened to boycott
the gathering if Naipaul attended, with several newspaper
columnists denouncing organisers for having invited the
Trinidadian writer of Indian descent, who won the Nobel Prize
for literature in 2001.
British-based Naipaul, 78, has stirred controversy in
the past, arguing that Islam both enslaved and attempted to
wipe out other cultures, resulting in a "calamitous effect" on
converted peoples worse than that of colonialism.
Naipaul has written two books on Islam, "Among the
Believers" and "Beyond Belief", for which he travelled
extensively in Muslim countries.