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Turkey Book Talk #61 – DIANA DARKE on “THE MERCHANT OF SYRIA: A HISTORY OF SURVIVAL” (Hurst), which tells the story of Abu Chaker, a textile merchant from Homs who lived from 1921 to 2013.

The book traces Abu Chaker’s life in parallel with the story of the modern history of Syria, examining the social, cultural and political context that shaped him. It also touches on the emergence of the ongoing war, which Darke herself witnessed as she was living in a historical courtyard house in Damascus’ old town until a few years ago.

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Here is Diana’s article on Afrin for the BBC that we mention in the conversation.

Merchant of Syria

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My interview this week was with Professor Michael M. Gunter, author of “Out of Nowhere: The Kurds of Syria in Peace and War” (Hurst).

Out of Nowhere

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.

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Here’s the text of the interview at HDN.

And here’s my review.

This week I spoke to Diana Darke, the author of “My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution.” The book describes her experiences after buying a 17th century courtyard house in the center of Damascus in 2005, including Syria’s descent into bloody civil war after 2011.

Here’s a link to my interview with Darke at the Hurriyet Daily News.

And here’s my review of the book from a couple of days ago.

House In Damascus

 

The interview is also available in podcast form. Download here.

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