American writer Paul Auster may be butting heads with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan but is not boycotting Turkey as a whole. In a personal letter sent to Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the writer thanks him for his support in the dispute and accepts his invitation to visit the country, Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper reported.
"I thank you for your kind invitation," Auster wrote. "I have been refusing to come until now to voice my concerns with the treatment of writers in your country. But your letter made me reconsider the subject."
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Auster recently announced he will not be visiting Turkey due to the regime's oppressive treatment of writers and journalists.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Erdogan stepped up his rhetoric against Auster referring to Kılıçdaroğlu's invitation. "If he does come to Turkey, they should go to Israel together afterwards. Otherwise that visit will be incomplete. They should have a picnic on a hill overlooking Gaza. They should repeat that there are no jailed journalists in Israel,” Erdoğan said.
“There are Palestinian writers in exile," he added, after which he recited a poem by the famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
Addressing Auster's 2010 visit to Israel, the Turkish prime minister said, "He says there are no imprisoned journalists in Israel. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu just repeated what he said. I hope he gained somebody's favor by that pro-Israel talk."
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