European Angst
Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak Photo: Zeynel Abidin

is one of the most-read Turkish authors and most important intellectual voices in Turkey. Her views are informed by experiences of western and eastern traditions which have influenced her since childhood. Shafak was born in Strasbourg in 1971, studied international relations and took a Master in Gender and Women's Studies. She faced prosecution in Turkey in 2006 because of remarks made by a character in her novel The Bastard of Istanbul about the genocide of Armenians but was acquitted. Shafak lives with her family in London. Her latest novel Der Geruch des Paradieses was published in October.

“For me, Europe stands for values, fundamental rights, freedom and women’s rights. (...) Human rights and freedom of speech are key, essential issues which are non-negotiable.” Shafak in an interview with Der Spiegel, 5 December 2015