Turkish History Books

Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World, by Hugh Pope
I’ve enjoyed Hugh Pope‘s reporting in The Wall Street Journal for years. His new book looks far beyond the modern Turkish Republic and its Ottoman past to the roots of Turkish history and culture in the dozen great empires and states that Turks have won and governed. Everyone interested in Turkey will want to read Pope’s engaging and timely history of all the Turks. More…

Ancient Turkey: A Traveller’s History, by Seton Lloyd
Written by an archaeologist who spent much of his life in the Near East, this is as much a history of peoples and cultures as of ancient cities, buildings and artifacts—a good read!

An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire: 1600-1914, edited by Halil Inalcik, with contributions by Donald Quataert, Suraiya Faroqhi and Sevket Pamuk. This major work of Ottoman history is now in paperback (two volumes) covering the social and economic history of the Ottoman region, from around 1300 to World War I.

Gallipoli, by Alan Moorhead
The book that spawned the movie that revived interest in the great but disastrous World War I campaign by Winston Churchill to capture Constantinople. Before Moorhead’s book, almost no one went to Gallipoli. Now commemoration of the battles there is a major annual event in Turkish tourism. The story of brave soldiers, good and bad leadership, and fickle fortune is inspiring and dispiriting at the same time.

Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire by Suraiya Faroqhi. Raphaela Lewis’s Everyday Life in Ottoman Turkey is now out of print, but you can get Suraiya Faroqhi’s book, which is even better. Find out what it was like to live in the time of the sultans.

Turkey, a Short History, by Roderic Davison
A good place to start if you want a relatively quick but solid history of the country.

Turkey—A Modern History, by Erik J Zürcher
A thorough scholarly work on the emergence and progress of the Turkish Republic in the 20th century.

Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey, by Hugh and Nicole Pope
One of my favorite books about present-day Turkey, by two acutely observant veteran newspaper reporters.


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