By Sibel Morrow
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey on Saturday “strongly” condemned the awarding of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature to Peter Handke, as the writer is a denier of the 1992-1995 Bosnian genocide.
"We strongly disapprove of the awarding of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature to Peter Handke, who is a denier of the Bosnian genocide and a staunch supporter of [Slobodan] Milosevic, who was the perpetrator of the Bosnian genocide and the murderer of our Bosnian brothers," the National Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
The ministry urged reversal of “this historical mistake, which will deeply hurt anyone with conscience and will once again bring the Nobel Prize under scrutiny and criticism as being controversial.”
After Handke, an Austrian playwright, novelist and poet, was awarded the 2019 prize in October, relatives of Bosnian War victims condemned the decision.
Handke is known as a great admirer of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who died in 2006 at the international tribunal in The Hague on trial for war crimes and genocide.
"Stand up if you support the Serbs," Handke wrote during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war.
He claimed that the Muslim Bosniaks in Sarajevo had killed themselves, adding that he never believed that the Serbs had committed genocide in Srebrenica.
Handke also visited Milosevic in prison and tried to testify in his favor.
"I am here for Yugoslavia, for Serbia, for Slobodan Milosevic," Handke said in a 2006 eulogy for Milosevic.
In winning the prize, Handke will also receive 9 million Swedish kronor ($952,000) as well as a medal and a diploma.