Good Books About Turkey

Last Updated on May 2, 2019

Okay, first a shameless plug for my own book, but people tell me they like it and it’s a helpful introduction to travel in Turkey, so here goes….

I wrote Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea to be both an informative introduction to travel in Turkey, and a humorous, entertaining read good for airplane time or a few pages before bed. Here are excerptsHere arereviews.

Click here for ordering information. To buy it in Turkey, see my list of Istanbul bookshopsHomer Kitabevi near Galatasaray Square is sure to have it, as they are the Turkish publisher of the book.

Some of the books about Turkey mentioned below are available in public libraries, most can be bought online or in bookshops. These Istanbul bookshops have many of them—and many others as well.

An excellent source of English-language books about Turkey is Çitlembik Publishers. In the USA, their books are sold by Nettleberry.

Travel Guidebooks

The best companions while you’re on the road in Istanbuland Turkey. More…

Turkish History Books

What you get out of a trip depends on how well you prepare. Here are the background books, from simple to scholarly, including two wonderful books by Hugh Popethat read like novels. More…

Modern Turkey

Here are the best books on the rise and progress of the Turkish Republic in the 20th century, and its prospects for the 21st. More…


Read Michael Balter‘s exciting book on the swashbuckling archeologist James Mellaart and the discovery of the amazing Neolithic settlement at ÇatalhöyükMore…

Art Books

Turkey is filled with art, both the non-representational art of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, and the fully representational, modern art of the Turkish Republic—and more art is being made all the time. More…


My old friend Dux Schneider bought a donkey and trekked through the Bolkar Mountains of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, getting to know the secretive Tahtacılar (“Woodcutter”) people along the way. Then there’s Ms Maliha Masood, searching for her Islamicroots but being taken for a spy…. More…


Turkey is virtually an architectural museum, with works from 5000 years ago to the present day: HittiteHellenic,RomanByzantineOttoman, modern. More…


Popular history: reading about people is among the best ways to learn about a country and its culture. Biographies of Kemal Atatürk and Turkish families living in both Ottoman and republican times, including M A Whitten’s delightful An Island in IstanbulMore…


Here’s a compendium of the best writing about Turkey, the Turks and Turkish culture in the last century. More…

Turkish Cuisine

Turkish cuisine is the ‘sleeper,’ the grand surprise for every visitor to Turkey. ‘I never expected the food to be so good!’ is the common refrain among returning visitors. It’s even better if you know something about it before you go. More…


From Agatha Christie to Orhan Pamuk, Turkey’s romance and exoticism has fascinated novelists. More…

The online bookshop called Nettleberry is a good source for books in English about Turkey, and English-language books published in Turkey. More…

If you’re in Istanbul, you can find good English-language books about Turkey at these bookshops.



Art Books





History Books

Modern Turkey

Turkish Cuisine

Maps of Turkey

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