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Turkey Book Talk episode #64 – JOHN MCMANUS, post-doctoral fellow at the British Institute at Ankara, on “WELCOME TO HELL? IN SEARCH OF THE REAL TURKISH FOOTBALL” (W&N), a colourful exploration of what the beautiful game can tell us about a football-mad society and Turkey’s modern history.

Download the episode or listen below.

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welcome-to-hell-

Here’s my review of the book from last week.

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, and access to an exclusive 30% discount on over 200 Turkey/Ottoman History titles published by IB Tauris.

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Turkey Book Talk episode #58 – Mehmet Kentel on the life and work of Yusuf Franko, an obscure Ottoman bureaucrat who lived a remarkable double life as a caricaturist depicting Istanbul’s cosmopolitan late 19th century high society.

Kentel is a PhD Candidate in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Washington, and was adviser to the exhibition “The Characters of Yusuf Franko: An Ottoman Bureaucrat’s Caricatures” at the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations.

Download the episode or listen below.

Here’s the great website where you can view all of Yusuf Franko’s remarkable pictures and read the essays in “Youssouf Bey: The Charged Portraits of Fin-de-Siecle Pera,” the catalogue accompanying the exhibition.

And here’s my review of that book in Hurriyet Daily News.

Youssouf

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

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Consider supporting Turkey Book Talk and get extra content by becoming a member. Members get full transcripts (in English and Turkish) of every interview upon publication, transcripts of the entire Turkey Book Talk archive (in English) and access to an exclusive 30% discount on over 200 Turkey/Ottoman History titles published by IB Tauris.

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

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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).

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Turkey Book Talk episode #45 – DOUGLAS HOWARD, professor of history at Calvin College in Michigan, discusses “A HISTORY OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE” (Cambridge University Press).

The book is the first single-volume history of the Ottomans to appear in a while, covering more than 600 years of history – from the empire’s 13th century origins in the Balkans and western Anatolia to its protracted, violent dissolution at the start of the 20th century.

Download the episode or listen below.

Here’s my review of the book.

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

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history of the ottoman empire

* 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, Max Hoffman and Andrew MacDowall.

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

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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.

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.

Border

*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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