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Turkey Book Talk episode #68 – Michael Provence of UC San Diego on “The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East” (Cambridge University Press).

Over the past four years the centenary of the First World War has prompted a new focus on the conflict’s historical importance. In Europe the war ushered in the modern age and precipitated the downfall of old regimes, but it perhaps had an even more cataclysmic impact in the Middle East, precipitating a crumbling of the regional order that caused chaos and destruction.

“The Last Ottoman Generation” looks at continuities rather than ruptures, focusing on various individuals who came of age in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, socialized into ways of thinking and operating in a vanished network of Ottoman institutions.

Download the episode or listen below.

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The Last Ottoman Gen

Here’s my review of the book from a few weeks ago.

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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.

Download the episode or listen below.

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

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

Merchant of Syria

Become a member to support Turkey Book Talk and get extra content. 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.

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.

Please subscribe to the Turkey Book Talk Podcast via iTunes, via Podbean, or via Soundcloud.

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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