Turkish Biography

Last Updated on May 2, 2019

Atatürk, by Lord Kinross (JPD Balfour)
The standard biography in English of the great Turkish general and statesman whose military and political genius and courage brought forth the modern Turkish republic. It’s as exciting to read as any novel.

Atatürk, by Andrew Mango
Written decades after Lord Kinross’s book, Professor Mango covers the same ground but looks at Atatürk‘s life somewhat differently, and the picture that emerges is similar, but with important differences. Both books are a joy to read, as gripping as novels.

An Island in Istanbul: At Home on Heybeliada, by M. A. Whitten
The Whitten’s Istanbul is a world away from whatever you may have heard or experienced about this ever-intriguing city, and yet it is recognizably Istanbul in all its beauty, frustration and reward. More…

Life with a View: A Turkish Quest, by Toni Sepeda
Toni Sepeda, PhD, has lived and taught in Turkey for years, but she and partner Craig Manley really “get into the country” by building a vacation home on the Black Sea coast east of Istanbul—a ten-year project. More…

Portrait of a Turkish Family, by Irfan Orga
One family’s personal history, from the graceful lifestyle of the Ottoman nobility through the cataclysm of World War I and the fall of the empire, to rebirth and renewal in the modern Turkish Republic. An excellent read! It’s the best view of what happened to real people during this tumultuous time. More…

Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea, by Tom Brosnahan
My own humorous travel memoir of my first years in Turkey as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching English, my first guidebook (Frommer’s Turkey on $5 a Day), and later adventures. More…

A Turkish Tapestry: The Shakirs of Istanbul, by Shirin Devrim
The Shakir family produced grand vezirs, generals, poets and playboys, including Cevat Shakir, the “Fisherman of Halicarnassus,” and Aliye Berger, the famous—scandalous!— Istanbul painter. The story of this prominent family is alternately entertaining, instructive, and nearly incredible.


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