Home

Turkey Book Talk episode #94 – Yağmur Karakaya, PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota, talks about her research on the rise of Ottoman nostalgia in contemporary Turkish politics and popular culture.

Karakaya is the author of “The Conquest of Hearts: The central role of Ottoman nostalgia within contemporary Turkish populism”, published in November 2018 in the American Journal of Cultural Sociology.

Download the episode or listen below

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

Follow Turkey Book Talk on Facebook or Twitter

maxresdefault

Join as a member to support Turkey Book Talk and get a load of extras: A 35% discount on any of over 400 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 90+ 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.

Advertisements

Turkey Book Talk episode #83 – Selim Koru, fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, on his paper: “The Resiliency of Turkey-Russia Relations.”

Despite being historic rivals and at odds on many issues, Koru argues that Ankara-Moscow ties are becoming increasingly warm due to a shared underlying worldview, spurred by resentment of the West.

Download the episode or listen below.

Here’s the paper we are discussing.

And here’s a link to Selim’s other writing.

Putin_with_Erdoğan

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

Follow Turkey Book Talk on Facebook or Twitter

If you enjoyed this episode, you may also be interested in episode #70 from August 2018: Dimitar Bechev on Turkey-Russia relations, past and present.

Don’t forget: IB Tauris/Bloomsbury have agreed to renew the exclusive discount for Turkey Book Talk members. Join as a member to get access to a 35% discount on any of over 400 books in IB Tauris’ excellent Turkey/Ottoman history category.

Members also get (English and Turkish) transcripts of every interview, transcripts of the entire archive, 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 #78 – Alev Scott on “Ottoman Odyssey: Travels Through a Lost Empire” (Riverrun), her travelogue exploring the past and present of Turkey and the former territories of the Ottoman Empire.

Download the episode or listen below.

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

Follow Turkey Book Talk on Facebook or Twitter

Ottoman Odyssey

Don’t forget the new addition to Turkey Book Talk’s membership system: Members now get access to an archive of 231 book reviews originally written for the Hurriyet Daily News. That archive was still standing for a few months but it now seems to have been deleted from the HDN website.

The reviews cover a pretty diverse spread of subjects: Turkish and international fiction and poetry, history, journalism, politics, the Middle East and Europe.

Members also get full transcripts in English and Turkish of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire Turkey Book Talk archive (over 70 conversations so far), and access to an exclusive 30% discount on over 200 Turkey/Ottoman History titles published by IB Tauris.

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

Turkey Book Talk episode #56 – Boğaziçi University Professor Edhem Eldem on “To Kill a Sultan: A Transnational History of the Attempt on Abdülhamid II” (Palgrave Macmillan), which he co-edited with Houssine Alloul and Henk de Smaele.

The book explores a deadly assassination attempt targeting the Ottoman sultan in Istanbul in 1905, and appears at a time when Abdülhamid II is the subject of a growing popular obsession among religious conservatives in Turkey.

Download the episode or listen below.

Here’s my review of the book at HDN.

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

Follow on Facebook or Twitter

As mentioned in the podcast, here’s a recent article from me in History Today on this Abdülhamid revisionism and comparisons between him and Erdoğan.

to kill a sultan - Copy

As also mentioned, stay tuned for details of a new membership system coming for Turkey Book Talk. As part of the system, paying subscribers will get access to a range of extra content and benefits. I will post more details in due course, hopefully by the time of the next episode in two weeks.

* SUPPORT *

Remember you can support the podcast, if you enjoy or benefit from it, by making 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, Paul Levin, Ayla Jean Yackley, Burak Kodaz and Tan Tunalı.

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 #43 – SONER ÇAĞAPTAY on his book “THE NEW SULTAN: ERDOĞAN AND THE CRISIS OF MODERN TURKEY” (IB Tauris).

Download the episode or listen below:

My review of this book is forthcoming in the Times Literary Supplement. Not sure of the publication date so keep your eyes peeled for that.

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

Follow on Facebook or Twitter

New Sultan

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

I’ve written a piece for the New York Times to mark President Erdoğan’s visit to Washington on the blockbuster series “Diriliş: Ertuğrul,” broadcast on Turkish state TV channel TRT.

A few years ago at the height of so-called neo-Ottomanism there were loads of articles published about Turkish TV serials being exported all over the world. It became quite a tired cliche but the popularity of various shows is in fact a good bell-weather for the political mood. And audiences take the messages that these serials pump out seriously. On a visit to Polatlı, a small town outside Ankara a couple of years ago, I vividly remember how a local coffee house arranged its seats in rows at night once a week to screen the latest episode of the ultra-macho action serial “Valley of the Wolves.” In a provincial town with little else to do, it was clearly a major weekly event.

Get a flavour of Diriliş: Ertuğrul by watching the intro:

If you’ve got too much time on your hands you can stream every episode on the TRT website 🍿🍿🍿

If you missed it, here’s an article I wrote about another dubious cultural product: The Erdoğan biopic “Reis” (The Chief), which flopped at box offices in March.

%d bloggers like this: