Thousands mourn Turkish novelist Yasar Kemal

ISTANBUL (AP) — Political leaders and fellow writers are among thousands who gathered for the funeral of Yasar Kemal, one of Turkey’s best-known novelists.

Kemal, whose focus on social injustices brought him into conflict with authority, died on Saturday aged 91.

Mourners bid him farewell on Monday chanting: “Yasar Kemal was our honor.”

Kemal was best-known for his 1955 novel “Memed, My Hawk,” which was based on the troubled feudal relations in Turkey’s southern regions where he grew up.

He also turned his pen to defending the rights of Kurds and other minorities in Turkey.

He was tried in 1995 for an article he wrote for the German magazine Der Spiegel accusing the Turkish army of destroying Kurdish villages, and received a suspended sentence “for inciting hatred” over another article he wrote.