According to Dutch NOS TV, the Turkish government has taken 450 books off the banned books list.
NOS TV says these are politically Leftist books, by authors like Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and John Steinbeck.
The Turkish banned books list contains works supposedly written by “enemies of the Turkish state”.
A bit strange that authors like Marx, Lenin, and Steinbeck are considered to be “enemies of the Turkish state”.
Lenin died shortly after the founding of the Turkish republic, in January 1924. In 1921, he had contributed to the Treaty of Kars between the Caucasian Soviet republics and Turkey, ending the First World War between the collapsed Ottoman and Czarist empires.
I am not aware that United States novelist John Steinbeck ever wrote anything about the Turkish state.
Turkish daily Hürriyet writes:
‘Of Mice and Men‘ gets taste of Turkish censor
The İzmir Education Directorate’s books commission is seeking to ban certain parts of John Steinbeck’s classic “Of Mice and Men” for several “immoral” passages, according to daily BirGün.
The book “contains immoral sections” and is “unfit for educational use,” according to the commission’s report.
Despite the call, Steinbeck’s classic is one of the Turkish Education Ministry’s “100 Fundamental Novels.”
See also here.
NOS TV reports that though these 450 books by Marx, Lenin, Steinbeck and others are now off the censorship list, another about 5000 books are still on it.
So, a not really impressive measure by the Turkish government. It reminds me a bit of the most famous Turkish poet, Nazim Hikmet. Decades after Hikmet died, the Turkish government at last gave him back his Turkish nationality; and announced that Turks reading his poems would no longer be arrested. During the Cold War, the Turkish government, being a slavish NATO ally, had taken away the citizenship of Leftist Hikmet.
- Turkish Government Censors Steinbeck s Of Mice and Men (ohifront.wordpress.com)
- Turkey lifts ban on thousands of books (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Originals – A Look at Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Me (greensboring.com)
- Swedish Academy reopens controversy surrounding Steinbeck’s Nobel prize (guardian.co.uk)
- Finding Inspiration in John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ (faith-dream.com)