I read Snow by Orhan Pamuk


It was inevitable, really. I had to read at least one book by Orhan Pamuk and I guess it had to be Snow. If I were to summarize this book by one sentence, it would be: “I feel personally attacked by this relatable content.”

And before I continue any further, I guess I should be the one to point out the weirdness of awkwardness of me writing these words in English as opposed to Turkish. I blame my audience and the limits of content creation.

I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this, but the politico-psychological (thanks Foucault) spirit of Turkishness is a mess. It has a whole lot of confusing and contradicting aspects. And Snow highlights pretty much all of them.

Take for instance the Westernized/Europeanized Turk. This person is a liberal, who believes in the virtues of democracy and vox populi, yet they’re also a die-hard fan of secularism. But what happens when the vox populi wants to stick to its traditional roots and their religion, more so than the virtues of democracy? Or, to phrase it better, what if the virtues of democracy mean that the vox populi has the right and freedom to be religious?

I’ve struggled with reconciling the democratic “liberal” and the authoritarian secularist inside me for a relatively long time. Still, however, whenever I think I like one side better than the other, the realities of Turkey make me hesitate and put me back on the fence.

Going back to Snow, I guess my undecidedness was one of the reasons that made me like the book and the political portrait it portrays.

That being said, the men in this book made me realize/remember why I’ve decided to disown my masculinity, to some extent. Ka is an annoying man. He is entitled and just thinking about him kinda makes me frustrated.

Read Snow if you want to get to know a bit more about Turkey’s political Zeitgeist. It’s not the most accurate picture, but you’ll leave knowing more than you did before. And if you are left confused… Well, welcome to the club! None of us know what the hell is going on back there.

Featured image: I didn’t take this photo. Thanks Google.

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