Infidel publishing in Turkey

The publisher of the Turkish translation of Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion might run into trouble, due to an obnoxious Turkish law against insulting religious sentiments.

Since I have a Turkish background, and I have written books critical of supernaturalism in general and Islam in particular, I often get questions about whether my stuff will get translated and published in Turkey. I’ve generally figured no. Mainly because I’ve made some inquiries, and it seems to hard to get a publisher to take anything on. I expect this is because the books won’t sell enough—which is probably true. (It’s not like they sell hugely in English.)

I hadn’t thought that an extra consideration might be that publishers might not want to court trouble with an overzealous prosecutor. Anyway, this news item is one more thing that makes me glad I live and work in the US. It isn’t paradise, but it certainly creates far fewer hassles for critics of religion.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University