answer me | Zelvo Livanelli, writer and activist: “Gorbachev will agree to the invasion because the Russians feel that Ukraine is part of their culture”

A writer by his calling, he started composing Prison protest songs Turkey (1970s) became the voice against the military junta. He was a member of Congress and, in addition to being a musician, he is a film director and the best-selling author in his country, translated into 40 languages. We didn’t meet him until he posted Serenade song by Nadia (Gutenberg Galaxy). because? Because of his affiliation with Russia and anti-Americanism and Islamists.

Ask: So many characters in the same… Who are you?-Answer: I am a writer who composes music translated by, among others, Daniel Barenboim, Joan Baez or María del Mar Bonet.

Of all of them, what is your first profession?

I wanted to be a writer. Since I was a child (Elgin, Turkey, 1946, his father was a judge of the country’s highest court), I read books like Quixote. Before the military coup of 1971, I had published newspaper articles, but it was not until 1978 that my first novel appeared, in Turkey and Germany. Then I got into politics because they asked me: I am a committed thinker in the Sartran tradition of the sixties.

He was imprisoned and tortured several times. prohibited and prohibited; Exiled in Sweden and France and threatened by Islamic radicals. For politics, did we never read it in Spain?

I was always in the circle of artists associated with the Soviet Union, and after the Cold War, my works were silenced due to the influence of the United States, which had a strategic plan for Turkey: to turn it into an Islamic state supported from abroad. Politics and politics of Europe. , so that it would act as a counterweight to Russian influence in the Middle East, hence the Erdogan government.

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– “It is art, not politics, that can change people’s hearts.” But can people’s hearts change the world?

I am not speaking from a romantic point of view. In the face of the prejudices that confront us, I preach empathy, which seems to me to be more important than reason. I firmly believe that literature can change the world.

– He knew Gorbachev personally. What do you think about the invasion of Ukraine?

I agree, it’s a very Russian feeling: they feel oppressed and plundered by foreign powers. People support the invasion, they see Ukraine as part of their culture, and they, in their opinion, are fighting against NATO. I do not approve of the invasion, but I try to understand both sides: after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, NATO is meaningless, and yet its presence is very active in the Middle East.

Even the presence of the Jewish people in Palestine predates the Ottoman Empire: how far in history is it legal to claim a territory? “

He also met Yasser Arafat. Is it difficult for the Palestinian leader to believe the coup that suffered the rights of his people?

I was especially friends with Simon Peres, who was a great philosopher. In their hands and Arafat was a peaceful solution to the coexistence of the two peoples, but some did not want that peace. Look, the presence of the Jewish people in Palestine predates the Ottoman Empire: how far in history is it legal to claim a land? As Amos Oz said: “We are not all fit on this earth.”

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– Your novel is inspired by the disaster of the Struma, a ship loaded with Jews fleeing Nazi genocide that left Turkey to its fate off its coast in 1942. 800 people were killed in its collapse. Are the Israelis committing an atrocity similar to the one that led them to Palestine?

Yes, it is the feeling of revenge that kindles in those who have experienced authoritarian trauma. The Treaty of Versailles humiliated and wanted to end German identity, and its effect was Germanicism. Hitler was a criminal for whom the people voted, but the signers of Versailles were not blameless.

– Europe strengthens its ties while deepening the gap in its borders. Is Erdogan’s Turkey one of the biggest victims of this policy?

Erdogan has always been an extremist and his intention was to embrace jihad. Many have been deceived by his supposed moderation, but there is only one Islam and any politics that convert to Islam is dangerous. The secularization of the nineties was not paradisiacal, but the country was rebuilding its freedom, until the geopolitics of the United States wanted to turn the country’s direction towards the Middle East.

– The government has imprisoned people for declaring that official corruption is the cause of the massive tragedy that is taking place. Can anyone be guilty of an earthquake?

It is a natural disaster, but the buildings collapsed like matchboxes due to the corruption of construction companies who, with official complicity, stopped applying anti-seismic architecture techniques. Geologists warned of the earthquake and poor infrastructure, and the government took no action.

– You asserted that the president was slow in mobilizing the rescue forces because he feared his own army. Is Turkey some kind of materiel in the Middle East?

Erdoğan fears his own army, and wary of the popular support his forces could receive, he has been very slow in fielding it; an act On the brink of deathIn fact, the army is the only organized class in my country. You could say that we Turks are like crew members on a ship going west as the ship goes east.

– I almost forgot to talk about Maya, the protagonist of the novel: How did you manage to narrate the loneliness of a single mother?

Without empathy you can never understand the other half of the population. It was something I didn’t choose: This woman’s voice came alone. When Flaubert was asked about Madame Bovary, you already know what he answered, right? Well: “I am Maya.”

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