The secularists in Turkey haven't underestimated religion, they just made the mistake of believing they could control it with the power of the army alone.
I really don't want to portray the Islamists as simply evil, the way it's often done in the west.
Well, on the one hand the Turks have the legitimate need to defend their national dignity - and this includes being recognized as a part of the west and Europe.
At first my publisher had reservations about publishing it in the form you are familiar with.
The challenge is to lend conviction even to the voices which advocate views I find personally abhorrent, whether they are political Islamists or officers justifying a coup.
I am nothing but a corpse now, a body at the bottom of a well.
My hero wants to belong too, but he doesn't want to give up all the things he came to value in the west.
I want to describe the psychological state of the people in a certain city.
The hero of the book does long to experience God. But his conception of God is very western.
The opponents of this process have always tried to vilify westernization as a poor imitation.
There's been quite a clear upswing in nationalist sentiments.
Everyone is talking about it, in Turkey as well.
I see Turkey's future as being in Europe, as one of many prosperous, tolerant, democratic countries.
These political movements flourish on the margins of Turkish society because of poverty and because of the people's feeling that they are not being represented.