Sunday, February 05, 2012

Paul Auster and Turkey

Paul Auster recently decided to cancel a trip to Turkey in protest of the plight of Turkish journalists and writers. This prompted an angry response from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who accused him of a double standard regarding Israel and Turkey. Auster's criticism of Turkey is accurate, as is his response to Erdogan regarding Israeli freedom of the press. However, his decision to boycott the country is not the answer.

Just like I oppose the BDS movement against Israel, I believe that other countries should not be boycotted. Action can be taken against the government and military, but civil society should not be targeted. Paul Auster would have done much more for Turkish writers had he voiced his criticism while in the country. I'm sure he would have gotten a lot more Turks to listen. Right now, they're probably to angry to hear what he says, just as I don't have patience for whatever someone who boycotts me and my country has to say.

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