February 5, 2016
This week’s podcast is with Frederike Geerdink, author of “The Boys are Dead: The Roboski Massacre and the Kurdish Question in Turkey” (Gomidas).
We chat about her time as a journalist in the Kurdish-majority city Diyarbakır, her deportation from Turkey last year, and the troubled history/present of the issue in the wake of the collapse of the peace process last summer.
Download the podcast, or listen below:
Here’s my review of the book at Hürriyet Daily News.
Added bonus: I’ve dug out this interview from last year with sociologist Cem Emrence, co-author of “Zones of Rebellion: Kurdish Insurgents and the Turkish State” – quite a thought-provoking book.
January 23, 2016
This week I spoke to author Ryan Gingeras on his new biography of Turkey’s founding father, “Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: Heir to an Empire” (Oxford University Press).
Or just listen here:
And here’s my review of the book (which is highly recommended).
As I mentioned in the podcast, here’s a link to an interview I did with Ryan last year about another of his books, “Heroin, Organized Crime, and the Making of Modern Turkey.”
January 9, 2016
Happy New Year!
First Turkey Book Talk pod of the year is with novelist Kaya Genç, the editor of “An Istanbul Anthology” (AUC Press), a new selection of classic writing on Istanbul by classic names including Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.
Happily, I’ve finally picked up a decent mic so the podcasts should now be more listenable. Hooray!
And here’s my review of the book.
December 12, 2015
This week’s podcast is with Nilgün Önder of the University of Regina, who joined to discuss her new book “The Economic Transformation of Turkey: Neoliberalism and State Intervention” (IB Tauris).
It’s a great and detailed book on some of the paradoxes of the economic reforms passed after Turkey’s military coup of 1980 – rather than rolling back, the authority of the state was substantially deepened by the reforms.
Here’s a transcript of the interview at Hürriyet Daily News.
Thanks for listening!
Lastly, apologies for the dodgy sound quality in these first few podcasts. I’ve got a new mic in the post so that should go some way to sorting it out.
November 28, 2015
This week’s interview/podcast is with Markus Dressler, author of the book “Writing Religion: The Making of Turkish Alevi Islam.” The book examines how the idea of Alevism is an almost entirely modern concept, formed towards the end of the Ottoman Empire as part of efforts to integrate disparate Anatolian religious groups into the Turkish and Muslim nation.
Download a podcast of our conversation.
Here’s a transcript of the interview at the Hürriyet Daily News.
Here’s my review of the book.
NB – I’ve also just created a Facebook page for the podcast, where I’ll be posting new episodes. Check it out here.
November 14, 2015
This week I spoke to Cengiz Şişman about his new book on the history of the Dönmes, a crypto-religious sect that first developed around Jewish messiah Sabbatai Sevi in cities around the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century.
Download a podcast of our conversation. Or listen below:
Read an edited transcript of the interview at the Hürriyet Daily News.
And read my review of Şişman’s book, “The Burden of Silence: Sabbatai Sevi and the Evolution of the Ottoman-Turkish Dönmes.”
October 24, 2015
My interview this week was with Professor Michael M. Gunter, author of “Out of Nowhere: The Kurds of Syria in Peace and War” (Hurst).
The slim book charts the Syrian Kurds’ rise to international profile since 2011, taking in their modern history under Ba’athist oppression, their development of “national conscience,” and ties between the PYD in northern Syria and the PKK in Turkey.
Download the interview in podcast form.
Here’s the text of the interview at HDN.
And here’s my review.