Here you can find our best books on Turkey: the origins of the modern state, as well as books that explore its rich, varied and ancient culture.
Elif Shafak recommends books to understand Turkey’s social, cultural, and political complexity. In that interview, she discusses how the country has changed in recent decades and the relationship between modern Turkey and its Ottoman past. Elsewhere the late Professor Norman Stone, who taught at Bilkent University in Ankara, also discusses the country’s shifting relationship with its Ottoman past, and what the republic founded in 1923 sought to achieve and the merits of Turkey as a modern state in his discussion of Turkish history.
Hugh Pope, the former foreign correspondent and Turkey expert, discusses Turkish politics. He explains how the conflicts within modern Turkish politics are rooted in the way that Ataturk created the state in the before and after the Republic’s foundation. Finally, Thomas de Waal chooses his best books on the Armenian genocide, focusing on the human dimension rather than the politics of that tragedy.
For the best book on Turkish cuisine, turn to Nevin Halici's Turkish Cookbook.
The best books on Turkey, recommended by Elif Shafak
Turkey’s most read author, Elif Shafak, describes Istanbul as ‘a she-city with a female personality’. She chooses five books on Turkey, including a biography of the she-city in all its vibrant energy and intensity.
Memoirs of the Armenian Genocide, recommended by Thomas de Waal
More than 100 years after the Armenian genocide, author Tom de Waal chooses books that sidestep the politics and bring us back to the human story. He picks the best memoirs of the Armenian genocide.
The best books on Turkish History, recommended by Norman Stone
Turkey is rediscovering its Ottoman past, says the British professor living in Ankara. He picks five books for compelling insights into Turkish history.
The best books on Turkish Politics, recommended by Hugh Pope
The Istanbul-based author and former foreign correspondent discusses the legacy of Atatürk, the country’s convergence with Europe and why no book has yet been written on Erdogan and the AKP. He picks the best books to help understand Turkish politics.