Thousands turn out for funeral of Turkey literary giant Yasar Kemal
ISTANBUL (Turkey) - Thousands of mourners, including a Nobel laureate and a former president, turned out for the funeral Monday of Turkish literary giant Yasar Kemal in Istanbul.
Nobel Prize winning author Orhan Pamuk and ex-Turkish president Abdullah Gul were among the crowd that attended the ceremony at the Tesvikiye mosque, a frequent starting point of funerals for the country's elite.
Kemal, one of Turkey's most celebrated writers, died Saturday at the age of 92 after battling heart and breathing problems. He was buried in Istanbul.
Of Kurdish descent, Kemal won numerous international awards for his epic tales set in the Anatolian heartland that recounted the struggles of rural villagers against oppression and industrial tyranny.
Kemal began writing poetry when he was at primary school but burst onto the Turkish literary scene in 1955 with his first novel "Memed, My Hawk" which was translated into about 40 languages and earned him rapid international fame.
The response of Turkey's Islamic-rooted government to Kemal's death prompted anger from some in the country's literary community.
Turkish author Elif Safak complained on Twitter the government declared a national day of mourning after Saudi King Abdullah died in January, but not for Kemal.