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The board is led by Ruhi Ozbilgic, a deputy secretary in the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has worked in customs, agriculture and state planning. Nurettin Yuksel, an official linked to the board, said its conclusions were not binding and that it was up to prosecutors to decide on the next step.

Burroughs is a scandalous figure in the American literary pantheon who, along with Ginsberg, novelist Jack Kerouac and others in the 1950s and 1960s, became known as the Beat Generation of writers that railed against the mainstream.

In “The Soft Machine,” the protagonist confronts Mayan priests who manipulate the minds of slave laborers, and Burroughs uses the so-called “cut-up” splicing method to jumble the text and disrupt the narrative order.

Burroughs sought to “pull the rug out” from under readers and alter their perceptions by awakening them to pre-existing notions, said Richard Doyle, a professor of English who teaches a Burroughs class at Pennsylvania State University in the United States.

“Without understanding the goal of these techniques, then you’re going to be puzzled that this is a work of art and you’re only going to see the graphic language and so forth,” Doyle said.

The first lines of “The Soft Machine” get right into petty theft and drug use, referring to the New York City subway _ “the hole” _ where the main character and “the sailor,” a junkie who also appears in “Naked Lunch,” roll drunks for pocket change:

“I was working the hole with the sailor and we did not do bad. Fifteen cents on an average night boosting the afternoons and short-timing the dawn we made out from the land of the free. But I was running out of veins.”

Suha Sertabiboglu, a Turkish dentist who translated “The Soft Machine,” said he worked on it eight hours a day for a month and that it was the most difficult of 38 book translations he had done. He said he sometimes sought meaning in a passage, only to realize there was no conventional meaning.

“It is anti-literature,” he said.


Associated Press writer Ceren Kumova contributed to this report from Ankara, Turkey.