Fiction/Novels: Istanbul & Turkey

Last Updated on May 2, 2019

The Winter Thief, by Jenny White
In her third novel in the Kamil Pasha series, Jenny White discovers communes, Armenian terrorists, bomb plots, and plenty of excitement. More…

The Abyssinian Proof, by Jenny White
Novelist (and social anthropologist) Jenny White takes her readers far beyond—and beneath!—the usual locales of Istanbul, to the intriguing city of late Ottoman times, and even the Byzantine city of the 15th century, in this cracking good mystery, the second in the Kamil Pasha series. More…

The Sultan’s Seal, by Jenny White
An English governess in the sultan’s harem is murdered, much like another English governess had been murdered years before. The usual Ottoman intrigue, or a symbol of the fall of empire? In Jenny White’s first novel, it’s Kamil Pasha’s job to find out, probing the depths of a city, and an empire, mysterious and decadent. More…

On Freedom Street, by Yesho Atil
One of ten children, Mehmet grows up in modest circumstances, then leaves the comfort of home to discover the big city of Adana, its women, himself, and honor, love and loyalty. More…

Six for Goldby Mary Reed & Eric Mayer
A mystery novel set in Byzantium, it’s the story of John the Eunuch, Lord Chamberlain to Emperor Justinian. Accused of murder, he is sent to Egypt to investigate a bizarre train of death while the intrigue over his own activities roils ConstantinopleMore…

Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
This novel by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2006 takes place in Kars, an elemental town in a harsh climate perfect for the clash of expatriate Turks and Kurdish rebel, political Islamists, poverty-stricken locals and leftist thespians. It’s a complicated, thrilling, important tale.

The New Life, by Orhan Pamuk
Pamuk’s post-modernist story takes you through the personal and romantic angst of a Turkish student in Istanbul and on long, mind-bending bus rides. Time and space warp and bend, and nothing is as it seems….

My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk
One of Europe’s most prominent novelists, Pamuk won the Nobel Prize for Literature 2006. This novel is a murder mystery and love story set in the exotic world of Istanbul in the 1500s.

Memed, My Hawk, by Yashar Kemal
Turkey’s grand old man of fiction, sometimes compared to Kazantzakis, beautifully evokes the mythic Turkish past and combines it with modern Anatolian life in this classic novel—the most famous novel by a Turk until the appearance of Orhan Pamuk.

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
Everyone thinks this is a book about Turkey because the Orient Express went from Paris to Constantinople, but in fact it has almost nothing to do with the country or the people. However, it’s still a wonderful read, especially on the plane!

—Tom Brosnahan



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