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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.

Download the episode or listen below.

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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.

If you enjoy or benefit from the podcast and want to support it, click here to make a donation to Turkey Book Talk via Patreon!

Many thanks to my current supporters Özlem Beyarslan, Steve Bryant, Celia Jocelyn Kerslake and Aaron Ataman.

Ali Yaycıoğlu joins Turkey Book Talk to discuss “Partners of the Empire: The Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions” (Stanford University Press), examining the extraordinary upheavals in the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the conversation he talks about the long-term effects of these upheavals and what the period can tell us about contemporary Turkey’s turbulent political landscape.

Download the podcast or listen below:

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

Here’s my review of the book.

partners

If you like this podcast and want to support independent podcasting, you can make a small or large monetary donation to Turkey Book Talk via Patreon.

Many thanks to current supporters Özlem Beyarslan, Steve Bryant, Andrew Cruickshank and Aaron Ataman.

Cem Emrence speaks to Turkey Book Talk about his book “Remapping the Ottoman Middle East: Modernity, Imperial Bureaucracy and Islam” (IB Tauris).

The book looks at Ottoman modernization through the 19th and early 20th centuries using an original model of “three-trajectories”: The coast, the interior, and the frontier, which each followed distinct paths to modernity.

Download the episode or listen below.

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

Here’s my review of the book at Hürriyet Daily News.

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If you like Turkey Book Talk and want to support independent podcasting, you can make a small or large monetary donation to the show via Patreon. Many thanks to current supporters Özlem Beyarslan, Steve Bryant and Andrew Cruickshank.

A welcome return to the pod to Ryan Gingeras, who joins to talk about his new book “The Fall of the Sultanate: The Great War and the End of the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1922” (Oxford University Press).

Download the podcast or listen below.

Subscribe: iTunes / PodBean / Stitcher / Facebook / RSS

Here’s my review of the book at HDN.

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This is Ryan’s second appearance on the Turkey Book Talk podcast. Click here to listen to him discussing his recently published biography of Atatürk: “Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: Heir to an Empire.”

Support the podcast via Patreon. Many thanks to current supporters Özlem Beyarslan, Steve Bryant, Andrew Cruickshank, and Sera Alexandra Marshall.

The latest podcast is with Judith Saryan, who edited a new English edition of Zabel Yessayan’s account of a trip to Adana in the aftermath of pogroms targeting Armenians there in 1909.

Download the podcast or listen below:

Subscribe: iTunes / PodBean / Stitcher / Facebook / RSS

Read my Hurriyet Daily News review of “In the Ruins: The 1909 Massacres of Armenians in Adana” (AIWA).

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Here’s an interview from last year with translator Jennifer Manoukian, discussing Yessayan’s remarkable life and work.

Here’s another piece I wrote last year for Al Monitor from a crumbling station on the Armenian side of the closed Turkey-Armenia border. The immediate political dynamics have changed since then but it may still be an interesting read. View photos I took of the station here.

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Finally, let me flag up my newly opened Patreon account – Through it you can support the Turkey Book Talk podcast by making a monetary donation, large or small, on a per episode basis. Check it out. Many thanks to my first supporter Sera Aleksandra Marshall.

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.

Writing religion

Subscribe to the Turkey Book Talk podcast via iTunes, PodBean, or Soundcloud.

NB – I’ve also just created a Facebook page for the podcast, where I’ll be posting new episodes. Check it out here.

 

This week I spoke to Eugene Rogan, the author of an authoritative new history “The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920.”

Rogan is director of the Middle East Centre at the University of Oxford and also penned a major recent book on the history of the modern Arab world, so I was really happy to speak with him. The conversation was wide-ranging and stimulating, touching on some of the biggest issues around the war – resolved and unresolved – and the continued resonance of the Ottoman Empire’s collapse almost 100 years ago.

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Click here to read the interview with Professor Rogan.

Read my review of the book here.

And here’s some footage of Istanbul in 1915 from the British Pathé archives, showing the historic peninsula and various warships heading up the Bosphorus:

PS. I hope my Turkey-based followers can see this post, as WordPress keeps being blocked and unblocked here.

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