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University of Arizona Professor Benjamin Fortna discusses “The Circassian: A Life of Eşref Bey, Late Ottoman Insurgent and Special Agent” (Hurst).

Eşref Kuşçubaşı was a secret service operative in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, who later turned his back on the resistance forces of Mustafa Kemal during the War of Independence and ended up in exile for almost 30 years. Fortna’s biography is the most detailed account of Eşref’s contentious life, based on exclusive access to previously unexamined papers.

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the-circassian

As mentioned in the episode, Turkey Book Talk listeners can get a 33% discount plus free delivery on this and three other titles published by Hurst – “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, and “Out of Nowhere: The Syrian Kurds in Peace and War” by Michael Gunter. Follow this link to get that discount.

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This week I interviewed Zeynel Abidin Besleney, the author of a new book on the history of Circassian political activism in Turkey. The book is probably the most detailed available title on what is a pretty obscure subject, and I learnt plenty from it.

Here’s a link to the interview with Besleney at the Hürriyet Daily News.

And here’s my review of the book.

The Circassian Diaspora

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