Found in: Turkish culture
Pontos Kulturu (ISBN 975-344-220-3 for the 2nd edition) (Pontos Culture in English) is a Turkish book by Turkish author Omer Asan. The book was published by Belge Yayinlari of Ragip Zarakolu in 1996. It made a Greek edition in 1997, followed by a second Turkish edition in 2000.
Pontos Kulturu is about the Greek Muslims who live in Trabzon Province. It is, to a great extent, the result of the ethnographic fieldwork by Asan in his native village Coruk in Of district. It contains a rich collection of oral traditions, local legends (such as Ancomah), and documentation of elements of material culture in Coruk and its vicinity. The book is also a study of Pontic in its Of dialect. As the author asserts in its foreword, "the book does not reach the Pontos Culture but approaches it." In its entirety, the book is also a polemical text against the mainstream nationalist currents of folklore and historiography that are dominant in Turkey.
In January 2002, following a programme televised on the Turkish TV ATV, the book became the centre of controversy. Asan, accused for treason by nationalistic circles, was threatened by supporters of MHP. The book was banned the same month due to a verdict by the State Security Court in Istanbul [*]. Asan was charged with allegations of the breach of Anti-Terrorism Law by "propagandating separatism" [*]. The author, the book, and the publisher were eventually acquitted in 2003 [*].
Omer Asan, a writer before the Courts International PEN notice on Asan's trial
The Pontian muslims at the target of Turkey Article about the book, controversy, and its impacts, by Nikos Doukas