Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk was honored with France’s Légion d’honneur on October 29th, 2012. In the ceremony, French Minister of Culture and Communication Aurelie Filippetti said that she is very impressed with the portrait of Istanbul that Orhan Pamuk depicts in his novels and a parallelism can be drawn between Orhan Pamuk and Victor Hugo.
The French award, the "Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur", was created 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. The order is generally although not exclusively awarded for military service. While it is the highest decoration bestowed by the nation, a rather large count of individuals have received it.
The award has been given in previous years to such authors, philosophers, politicians and artists as Louis Aragon, Henri Bergson, Jorge Luis Borges, Gerard Depardieu, Placido Domingo, and Léon Foucault.