Nedim Gürsel was born in 1951 in Gaziantep. He lives in Paris and teaches Turkish literature at the Sorbonne University. Together with Yasir Kemal and Orhan Pamuk he is one of the most important contemporary Turkish authors. He holds French citizenship.
His book The Daughters of Allah, which was published in German translation by Suhrkamp, prompted the Turkish Justice to accuse Gürsel of “insulting the religious values of the people”. Gürsel reacted to the allegations with the words: “I am convinced that I have not offended the religion. (…) I have the right to criticize religion.” On 25 June 2009 he was acquitted by the court. Gürsel had already been indicted by a Turkish court in 1971 because he had expressed a critical opinion of the coup in an essay. As a consequence, he went to France and returned to Turkey in 1979. The military coup in 1980 drove him again into exile in France. The history of Turkey and Europe as well as oriental narrative traditions form the background of Gürsel‘s work, who was honoured with numerous Turkish and French awards.