London, Nov 25 (ANI): Trinidadian writer of Indian descent VS Naipaul has pulled out of an international writers' conference in Istanbul over objections to his previous criticism of Islam.
Naipaul, 78, who was awarded the Booker Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature, had been expected to attend the European Writers Parliament as a guest of honour.
But after Turkish participants threatened to boycott the event, saying it was an insult to Muslims if he attended, organisers and the author mutually agreed that he would not attend.
Dunar Hizal from the Istanbul European Capital of Culture Agency said that Naipaul's invite had been "politicised" by the Turkish media.
"Therefore the ultimate goal of the event and VS Naipaul's contribution to it as an author were overshadowed," the BBC quoted Hizal as saying in a statement.
"For this reason, as a result of compromise between the organisers of the European Writers' Parliament and VS Naipaul, the author has withdrawn his participation," he stated.
Naipaul had in 2001 caused controversy by comparing the "calamitous effect" of Islam on the world with colonialism.
He contended that Islam had both enslaved and attempted to wipe out other cultures. (ANI)