Turkey Book Talk episode #149 – E. Natalie Rothman, associate professor of history at the University of Toronto, on “The Dragoman Renaissance: Diplomatic Interpreters and the Routes of Orientalism” (Cornell University Press).

The book shows how Istanbul-based diplomatic translator-interpreters played a crucial role in developing outside understanding of the Ottoman Empire, as well as in the Ottoman elites’ various diplomatic manoeuvres.

Download the episode or listen below:

The e-book edition is available for free open access download from Cornell Open.

Also check out the Dragoman Renaissance Research Platform website, set up as a companion offering additional resources related to the project.

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Support Turkey Book Talk by becoming a member. Members get extras including exclusive access to a 30% discount on all Turkey/Ottoman history books published by IB Tauris/Bloomsburytranscripts of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire archive of episodes, and an archive of 231 reviews covering Turkish and international fiction, history, journalism and politics.

Turkey Book Talk episode #142 – Malte Fuhrmann, research fellow at the Liebniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, on “Port Cities of the East Mediterranean: Urban Culture in the Late Ottoman Empire” (Cambridge University Press).

The book paints a panorama of cultural and social life in the diverse port cities of Salonica, Istanbul and Izmir in the late Ottoman era, when European cultural traits and economic developments had a profound impact on the daily experiences of locals across confessional boundaries.

Download the episode or listen below:

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Leblebici Horhor Ağa – Biz Köroğlu Yavrusuyuz, Korkmayız 1909

Check out Raziye Akkoç and Diego Cupolo’s excellent Turkey Recap weekly newsletter.

Support Turkey Book Talk by becoming a member. Members get extras including exclusive access to a 30% discount on all Turkey/Ottoman history books published by IB Tauris/Bloomsbury, English and Turkish transcripts of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire archive of episodes, and an archive of 231 reviews covering Turkish and international fiction, history, journalism and politics.

Turkey Book Talk episode #141 – Sir Noel Malcolm, senior research fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford, on “Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought 1450-1750” (Oxford University Press).

The book examines how early modern Western European writers shaped perceptions of the Ottoman Empire and Islam through fear, distrust and hostility, but also curiosity and admiration.

Download the episode or listen below:

Listen to Turkey Book Talk:  iTunes / PodBean / Stitcher / Acast / Spotify / RSS

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Check out Raziye Akkoç and Diego Cupolo’s excellent Turkey Recap weekly newsletter.

Support Turkey Book Talk by becoming a member. Members get extras including exclusive access to a 30% discount on all Turkey/Ottoman history books published by IB Tauris/Bloomsbury, English and Turkish transcripts of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire archive of episodes, and an archive of 231 reviews covering Turkish and international fiction, history, journalism and politics.

Turkey Book Talk #129 – Elizabeth Rodini on “Gentile Bellini’s Portrait of Sultan Mehmed II: Lives and Afterlives of an Iconic Image” (IB Tauris/Bloomsbury).

The book explores how and why the Venetian painter came to the Ottoman court in 1479, as well as his portrait’s many intriguing afterlives in subsequent centuries.

Download the episode or listen below:

Listen to Turkey Book Talk:  iTunes / PodBean / Stitcher / Acast / Spotify / RSS

Follow Turkey Book Talk on Facebook or Twitter

Check out Raziye Akkoç and Diego Cupolo’s excellent Turkey Recap weekly newsletter.

Become a member to support Turkey Book Talk and get loads of extras: A 35% discount on any of over 100 books in IB Tauris/Bloomsbury’s excellent Turkey/Ottoman history category, English and Turkish transcripts of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire archive of episodes, and an archive of 231 reviews written by myself covering Turkish and international fiction, history, journalism and politics.

Turkey Book Talk #123  –  Alan Mikhail, professor of history at Yale University, on “God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire and the Making of the Modern World” (WW Norton).

The book is a hugely ambitious, continent-spanning reexamination of the life and times of Selim I, who ruled from 1512 to 1520 and whose reign saw seismic changes in Ottoman and world history.

Download the episode or listen below

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Selim I

Check out Raziye Akkoç and Diego Cupolo’s excellent Turkey Recap weekly newsletter

Become a member to support Turkey Book Talk and get loads of extras: A 35% discount on any of over 100 books in IB Tauris/Bloomsbury’s excellent Turkey/Ottoman history category, English and Turkish transcripts of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire archive of episodes, and an archive of 231 reviews written by myself covering Turkish and international fiction, history, journalism and politics.

Turkey Book Talk episode #116  –  Ünver Rüstem, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University, on “Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul” (Princeton University Press).

The book examines the adoption of Baroque and rococo styles in Istanbul mosques between 1740 and 1800, looking at how this fits into – or perhaps questions – popular ideas of Ottoman decline and Western influence.

Download the episode or listen below.

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9780691181875

Remember to check out Raziye Akkoç and Diego Cupolo’s excellent Turkey Recap weekly newsletter

Become a member to support Turkey Book Talk and get loads of extras: A 35% discount on any of over 100 books in IB Tauris/Bloomsbury’s excellent Turkey/Ottoman history category, English and Turkish transcripts of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire archive of episodes, and an archive of 231 reviews written by myself covering Turkish and international fiction, history, journalism and politics.

Turkey Book Talk episode #110  –  Onur İşçi, assistant professor at Ankara’s Bilkent University and director of its Centre for Russian Studies, on “Turkey and the Soviet Union during World War II: Diplomacy, Discord and International Relations” (IB Tauris/Bloomsbury).

The book counter-intuitively argues that the breakdown in Turkey-Soviet relations the Second World War and at the start of the Cold War was an anomaly in a 20th century in which Turkey and Russia in fact cooperated widely.

We also take the opportunity to address present-day Ankara-Moscow ties and the situation in Syria.

Download the episode or listen below.

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Check out the excellent Turkey Recap weekly newsletter

turkey and the soviet union

Become a member to support Turkey Book Talk and get loads of extras: A 35% discount on any of over 100 books in IB Tauris/Bloomsbury’s excellent Turkey/Ottoman history category, English and Turkish transcripts of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire archive of episodes, and an archive of 231 reviews written by myself covering Turkish and international fiction, history, journalism and politics.

Turkey Book Talk episode #109  –  Ayşe Zarakol, reader in international relations at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, on “After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West” (Cambridge University Press).

The book was published in English in 2011, and its second Turkish edition has just come out. It examines how a sense of “stigma” has dogged the way modern Turkey engages with the Western-led international order, as well as comparable cases of Japan and Russia.

Download the episode or listen below.

Listen to Turkey Book Talk :  iTunes / PodBean / Stitcher / Acast / Spotify / RSS

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Check out the excellent Turkey Recap weekly newsletter

9780521145565

Become a member to support Turkey Book Talk and get loads of extras: A 35% discount on any of over 100 books in IB Tauris/Bloomsbury’s excellent Turkey/Ottoman history category, English and Turkish transcripts of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire archive of episodes, and an archive of 231 reviews written by myself covering Turkish and international fiction, history, journalism and politics.

Sign up as a member to support Turkey Book Talk via Patreon.

Turkey Book Talk episode #68 – Michael Provence of UC San Diego on “The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East” (Cambridge University Press).

Over the past four years the centenary of the First World War has prompted a new focus on the conflict’s historical importance. In Europe the war ushered in the modern age and precipitated the downfall of old regimes, but it perhaps had an even more cataclysmic impact in the Middle East, precipitating a crumbling of the regional order that caused chaos and destruction.

“The Last Ottoman Generation” looks at continuities rather than ruptures, focusing on various individuals who came of age in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, socialized into ways of thinking and operating in a vanished network of Ottoman institutions.

Download the episode or listen below.

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The Last Ottoman Gen

Here’s my review of the book from a few weeks ago.

Support Turkey Book Talk by becoming a member. Membership gives you full transcripts in English and Turkish of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire Turkey Book Talk archive (over 60 conversations so far), and access to an exclusive 30% discount on over 200 Turkey/Ottoman History titles published by IB Tauris.

The Sultan and the Sultan

November 8, 2017

I’ve written a long-ish article for History Today on historical revisionism in Turkey around the figure of hard-line late Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II – who many are keen to imagine as a precursor of President Erdoğan.

Abdülhamid has long been venerated as ‘Ulu Hakan’ (the Supreme Sultan) by conservative ideologues within Turkey, but the reverence has reached fever pitch under Erdoğan. An idealised memory of Abdülhamid, which casts him as the last proudly Islamic Ottoman leader standing up to the West, has become part of the government’s narrative of civilisational ‘restoration’, in which Turkey is once again a great power that shapes history. Abdülhamid is often glorified as a symbolic precursor of Erdoğan – proof that historic forces are at play today. …

When he first became sultan in 1876, Abdülhamid appeared to be an enlightened reformer. He supported the Ottoman constitution, giving the empire its first experience of constitutional democracy. The next year he opened the first session of an elected Ottoman parliament … But the experience of ruling a vast, decaying empire hardened him into an absolutist, and he became convinced that he needed to rule with a stronger hand to protect it from further dismemberment. …

The parallels with Turkey’s current president are obvious. Erdoğan was once lauded in the West as a moderate Muslim reformer, raising the country’s democratic standards and advancing its economy. But his international reputation has since deteriorated badly. Authoritarianism, rent-seeking and demagoguery mark his era. The state administration is subject to the whims of capricious one-man rule. A cult of personality is in full swing, with Erdoğan embodying the frustrations, hopes and grievances of Turkey’s conservative masses, bound by a powerful sense of shared identity. …

Erdoğan’s supporters see the decline in his reputation abroad as part of a dark international plot to halt this forward march. Conspiratorial thinking runs rampant. Orhan Osmanoğlu, a fourth-generation descendent of Abdülhamid, claims that Turkey is today witnessing a ‘repetition of history’: ‘Meddling foreigners now call our president a dictator, just as they used to call Abdülhamid the “Red Sultan.”’ Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman compared last year’s coup attempt to the dethroning of Abdülhamid in 1909: ‘They wanted to do the same as they did when they overthrew Abdülhamid, but this time they couldn’t succeed.’

I’ve been meaning to write this article for ages so do go and read the whole thing (there are also some nice visuals).

Abdul_Hamid_II_BNF_Gallica

Turkey Book Talk episode #49 – ALEXANDER CLARKSON of Kings College London discusses his research on the Turkish and Kurdish diaspora in Germany, addressed in his long article “Kenan Evren’s Bitter Harvest: Legacies of a Coup that Changed Turkey and Europe.”

Download the episode or listen below.

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** SPECIAL OFFER **

Consider supporting Turkey Book Talk by taking advantage of a 33% discount plus free delivery (cheaper than Amazon) on five different titles, courtesy of Hurst Publishers:

  • ‘Jihad and Death: The Global Appeal of Islamic State’ by Olivier Roy
  • ‘The Circassian: A Life of Eşref Bey, Late Ottoman Insurgent and Special Agent’ by Benjamin Fortna
  • ‘The New Turkey and its Discontents’ by Simon Waldman and Emre Çalışkan
  • ‘The Poisoned Well: Empire and its Legacy in the Middle East’ by Roger Hardy
  • ‘Out of Nowhere: The Syrian Kurds in Peace and War’ by Michael Gunter

Follow this link to get that discount from Hurst Publishers.

Another way to support the podcast, if you enjoy or benefit from it: Make a pledge to Turkey Book Talk via Patreon. Many thanks to current supporters Michelle Zimmer, Steve Bryant, Jan-Markus Vömel, Celia Jocelyn Kerslake, Aaron Ataman, Max Hoffman, Andrew MacDowall and Paul Levin.

Brand new Turkey Book Talk episode.

KAPKA KASSABOVA joins the pod to discuss her book “BORDER: A JOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF EUROPE” (Granta), on the troubled past and present of the border between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria.

Download the episode or listen below.

Listen out for a cameo appearance by my cat at around the 23:09 mark.

Here’s my review of the book at HDN.

Subscribe to Turkey Book Talk :  iTunes / PodBean / Stitcher / Acast / RSS

Follow on Facebook or Twitter.

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*SPECIAL OFFER*

You can support Turkey Book Talk by taking advantage of a 33% discount plus free delivery (cheaper than Amazon) on five different titles, courtesy of Hurst Publishers:

  • ‘Jihad and Death: The Global Appeal of Islamic State’ by Olivier Roy
  • ‘The Circassian: A Life of Eşref Bey, Late Ottoman Insurgent and Special Agent’ by Benjamin Fortna
  • ‘The New Turkey and its Discontents’ by Simon Waldman and Emre Çalışkan
  • ‘The Poisoned Well: Empire and its Legacy in the Middle East’ by Roger Hardy
  • ‘Out of Nowhere: The Syrian Kurds in Peace and War’ by Michael Gunter

Follow this link to get that discount from Hurst Publishers.

Another way you can support is by making a donation to Turkey Book Talk via Patreon. Many thanks to current supporters Özlem Beyarslan, Steve Bryant, Celia Jocelyn Kerslake and Aaron Ataman.

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