By Nilay Kar Onum
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey’s president on Wednesday thanked political leaders for supporting protests against accused war crimes supporter Austrian writer Peter Handke being awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.
Speaking in the Turkish capital Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “I thank all the political leaders who supported this honorable stance [protesting the prize] on behalf of myself and my people.”
Handke was awarded the prize despite his open support for Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who died in 2006 during his trial for war crimes and genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Handke is also accused of denying the 1995 Bosnian genocide by Dr. Christina Doctare, who received the prize for her service as a physician in the UN peacekeeping forces.
Erdogan also said, “This prize is not the [same] prize that was given to [Turkish Nobel chemistry laureate] Aziz Sancar and [Turkish novelist] Orhan Pamuk. You cannot deceive anybody and will not be able to do."
Pamuk was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 2006, while Sancar received the prize in chemistry in 2015 for his work on cells that repair DNA damage.
In winning the prize, Handke is set to receive 9 million Swedish kronor ($952,000) as well as a medal and a diploma.