Elif Shafak on Fear and the Charge of “Insulting Turkishness”

First it was Orhan Pamuk. Now Elif Shafak is being tried for “insulting Turkishness”. In openDemocracy:

“Can you go out? Can you walk on the streets without fear of assassination or an assault from Turkish nationalists?” asked the Belgian journalist at the end of the line as he was conducting a phone interview with me over the weekend. “Are you safe in Turkey?”

Am I safe in Turkey…? I wanted to ask him back: Tell me please, are you safe in Belgium? And I wanted to keep asking: Are we safe on this planet…?

Each and every one of us, wherever we might have put down our roots, can we effortlessly and assertively answer that question affirmatively and claim that yes indeed, we are safe and sound, and so are our children? I don’t think so. In the post 9/11 world, in a world where the number of those who believe in a “clash of civilizations” increases day by day, no one is safe anymore.