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" Generally, I get bad reviews in Turkey. "
" Museums are western inventions where the rich and the powerful or the government and the state tend to exhibit the signs and symbol and images of their culture. "
" Culture is mix. Culture means a mix of things from other sources. And my town, Istanbul, was this kind of mix. Istanbul, in fact, and my work, is a testimony to the fact that East and West combine cultural gracefully, or sometimes in an anarchic way, came together, and that is what we should search for. "
" For me, Westernization is not about consuming fanciful goods; it's about a system of free speech, democracy, egalitarianism and respect for the people's rights and dignity. "
" One side of me is very busy paying attention to the details of life, the humanity of people, catching the street voices, the middle-class, upper-middle-class secret lives of Turks. The other side is interested in history and class and gender, trying to get all of society in a very realistic way. "
" I have the legacy of my father and his nocturnal automatic waking up. But I like those periods. I immediately have a different vision of humanity and my life. "
" Good fiction is about asserting the beauties of the world, inventing a new, positive thing. Where am I going to get that? And it should be original; it should not be cliched. So the way I looked at history was not to accuse it of failure. "
" My hero wants to belong too, but he doesn't want to give up all the things he came to value in the west. "
" Language is me, in a way. Really, I feel it. "
" There's been quite a clear upswing in nationalist sentiments. Everyone is talking about it, in Turkey as well. "
" I get used to my fountain pens and my clothes, and I can never throw them away. I replace them only when I see that they are broken or embarrassing to wear. "
" The truly great books are always novels: 'Anna Karenina,' 'The Brothers Karamazov,' 'The Magic Mountain.' Just as with 'Shahnameh,' I browse these books from time to time to remember how a great book works on us or to teach my students at Columbia University. "
" 'Snow' is my most popular book in the United States. But in Turkey, it was not as popular as 'My Name is Red,' or even 'The Museum of Innocence,' because the secular leaders didn't want this bourgeois Orhan trying to understand these head-scarf girls. "
" When I was publishing my first books, the previous generation of authors was fading away, so I was welcomed because I was a new author. "
" The fictive structure, my work, my imagination, my books are about the details, the huge construction about culture, Islamic culture or modern Turkey. They're all intertwined. "
" I think novelists should be disciplined and self-imposed working hours. I work a lot, but I don't feel that I'm working. I always feel that there is a child in me, healthy, and I'm playing. "
" When people read a novel 600 pages long, six months pass, and all they will remember are five pages. They don't remember the text - instead, they remember the sensations the text gives them. "
" Idealism, unrealistic idealism, is always contrasted with the reality of the people, of the man in the street. The details of daily life are always more convincing than the political fantasies of the earlier generations. "
" I don't much care whether rural Anatolians or Istanbul secularists take power. I'm not close to any of them. What I care about is respect for the individual. "
" A museum should not just be a place for fancy paintings but should be a place where we can communicate our lives through our everyday objects. "
" I really don't want to portray the Islamists as simply evil, the way it's often done in the west. "
" Authoritarianism, an unrealistic occidental imagination - these issues will never be settled. Turkey will continue to take Europe as a model; it will continue to pursue its search for democracy. "
" I sometimes feel nervous because I give stupid answers to certain pointless questions. It happens in Turkish as much as in English. I speak bad Turkish and utter stupid sentences. "
" I believe in a world where there are no heroes, and I've read and know humanity a lot. There are moments that I admire in a person courage, intellect, hard work. These are the qualities I admire in an intellectual, in a writer, and there are so many people who have these things. "
" I wanted to tell a romantic and dark side of Ottoman history that was also slightly political, saying to the previous generation of writers, 'Look, I'm interested in Ottoman things, and I'm not afraid of it, and I'm doing something creative.' "
" I had the feeling that focusing on objects and telling a story through them would make my protagonists different from those in Western novels - more real, more quintessentially of Istanbul. "
" I don't like to make strong statements. I want to write strong novels... I keep my deep, radical things for my novels. "
" The writer's secret is not inspiration - for it is never clear where it comes from - it is his stubbornness, his patience. "
" Nothing can be as astounding as life. Except for writing. Yes, of course, except for writing, the sole consolation. "
" I see Turkey's future as being in Europe, as one of many prosperous, tolerant, democratic countries. "
" If a writer is to tell his own story - tell it slowly, and as if it were a story about other people - if he is to feel the power of the story rise up inside him, if he is to sit down at a table and patiently give himself over to this art - this craft - he must first have been given some hope. "