‘Cooking New Istanbul Style’ by Refika Birgül

When you think of Turkish cuisine, the odds are that visions of kebabs and sticky desserts come to mind. However, over the last few years, a breath of fresh air has swept through the nation’s kitchens where the same traditional ingredients are now being used in exciting new ways. Refika Birgül has been an early … Continue reading ‘Cooking New Istanbul Style’ by Refika Birgül

‘A Strangeness in My Mind’ by Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk’s latest novel has rightly been called a love letter to his home city of Istanbul, but this may mislead unfamiliar readers; for the pages convey neither swooning adoration nor healthy affection, but rather Pamuk’s compulsive fascination with this place. Through the eyes of his sensitive protagonist, he takes us on a street-level tour … Continue reading ‘A Strangeness in My Mind’ by Orhan Pamuk

‘My Grandmother’ by Fethiye Çetin

By Dr. Rubina Peroomian   I want to start this blog with the question posed to me after I delivered the keynote speech at the AIEA (Association internationale des études armeniénnes) Conference, last week, held in Oxford UK (my topic was “The Diasporan Armenian Literature Entering the Second Century of the Continuing Effects of the Genocide”). … Continue reading ‘My Grandmother’ by Fethiye Çetin

‘Never Regret The Pain: Loving and Losing a Bipolar Spouse’ by Sel Erder Yackley

Sel Erder Yackley is a native Türk -- an immigrant and now a citizen of America. I had the chance to hear her sharing memories of living with a bipolar spouse. Her black and white book cover looked awfully grim, the title even grimmer, and the subject did nothing to make me say, "gee, I … Continue reading ‘Never Regret The Pain: Loving and Losing a Bipolar Spouse’ by Sel Erder Yackley

LGBTI identities in Turkish Literature

Beyond Borders: Murathan Mungan’s Texts LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex) identities have been manifested in Turkish literature since the 1960s. Starting with Sait Faik Abasıyanık, Bilge Karasu, Leyla Erbil, and Tezer Özlü, homosexuality and homoerotic moments begin to be depicted openly in novels and short stories rather than with an ambiguous and closed … Continue reading LGBTI identities in Turkish Literature

A Documentary Novel: “The Entrusted Trousseau – Peoples of the Exchange” by Kemal Yalçin

One of the advantages of reading in my adopted language of Turkish is, of course, the range of books available in Turkey by Turkish authors. Books published in Turkey are much cheaper than foreign-language imported books, so this book seemed like a bargain when a bookseller recommended it to me. It changed the way I … Continue reading A Documentary Novel: “The Entrusted Trousseau – Peoples of the Exchange” by Kemal Yalçin

An Excerpt from ‘Soraya’ by Meltem Yılmaz

  Turkey is hosting an estimated 2.5 million Syrian people who have fled the conflict areas of Syria. Can you imagine 2.5 million refugees coming to your country? Truly, watching the response of Turkish people in Istanbul to their visiting neighbors from Syria is awe-inspiring. Turks are famous for their hospitality, and the same hospitality … Continue reading An Excerpt from ‘Soraya’ by Meltem Yılmaz

Usurping Words: Turkish Coup Literature

In Turkish history, secretive groups have taken a particular type of pleasure from staging coups. Authors of the Turkish language, meanwhile, have been taking a different, literary type of pleasure from writing about their attempts at usurping political power. During the Latin American boom of the 1960s and 1970s, writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and … Continue reading Usurping Words: Turkish Coup Literature

‘The Time Regulation Institute’ by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar

Years ago, I came across the name of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar (1901-1962) for the first time. I was reading Orhan Pamuk’s book about Istanbul and Pamuk refers to Tanpinar as his most important teacher as a writer and novelist. That’s a sufficient reason to have a closer look at this author and his novel The … Continue reading ‘The Time Regulation Institute’ by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar

Halide Edib: The Indian Connection

  Halide Edib's "Inside India" was first published in 1937 by George Allen & Unwin Ltd, but remained unnoticed for many years. Then in 2002, Oxford University Press reprinted it with an introduction by the eminent historian of India, Prof. Mushirul Hasan, who also served as vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia (translation: Community Islamic University), in … Continue reading Halide Edib: The Indian Connection