Turkey, officially known as the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country situated in both Europe and Asia, with Istanbul being its largest and most populous city. It has a rich cultural and historical heritage, with its location making it a major center of trade and commerce for centuries. Today, Turkey is a democratic and secular republic with a mixed economy, with its modern sectors including manufacturing, finance, and tourism. Turkey is also known for its cuisine, which features a diverse array of flavors and dishes. Turkey is home to various historical landmarks, including the ancient city of Troy and the Byzantine Hagia Sophia cathedral, now a museum. The country’s cultural heritage can also be seen in its festivals and celebrations, including the annual Whirling Dervishes Festival and the international Istanbul Film Festival.
This novel tells two parallel stories—one of a modern-day housewife who becomes a book reviewer, and the other of the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi and his relationship with the dervish Shams of Tabriz. It explores themes of love, faith, and spirituality.
This novel is a murder mystery set in the world of Ottoman miniaturists, following the investigation of the murder of one of their own. It offers a deep insight into the Islamic art of the period, as well as the political and cultural changes of the time.
In this memoir, Orhan Pamuk tells the story of his childhood and youth in Istanbul. The book explores the history and culture of the city, as well as the author’s own personal experiences and reflections.
The story revolves around two young boys, Kinyas and Kayra, who are born into poverty and face a series of difficult circumstances throughout their lives. The novel explores themes of power, violence, sexuality, and morality, as the boys grow up and become involved in the criminal underworld. The story is set in Istanbul, and offers a gritty and realistic portrayal of life in the city.
Winter Sleep is a character-driven drama that explores the complex relationships between family members and the tensions that arise when their values and beliefs are challenged. Set in the beautiful but desolate landscapes of Anatolia, the film follows a wealthy hotel owner named Aydin, played by Haluk Bilginer, as he navigates his own moral quandaries while trying to keep his family and business intact.
Mustang is a coming-of-age drama that tells the story of five sisters growing up in a conservative Turkish village. When their innocent play with boys at the beach is misconstrued as scandalous, their family reacts by imposing strict rules and confining them to the house. As the sisters rebel against their oppressive situation, the film explores themes of female empowerment, cultural identity, and the clash between tradition and modernity.
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a slow-burning crime drama that follows a group of police officers and a prosecutor as they search for a dead body in the vast, barren landscapes of rural Anatolia. The film is a meditation on the human condition, exploring themes of guilt, redemption, and the fragile nature of truth.
The Wild Pear Tree is a philosophical drama that follows the story of Sinan, a young aspiring writer who returns to his hometown in rural Turkey after graduating from university. As he grapples with his own identity and ambitions, he confronts the harsh realities of life in a society plagued by political and economic turmoil.
Three Monkeys is a psychological drama that explores the moral decay of a corrupt politician and the devastating consequences of his actions on his family. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful but ominous landscapes of the Black Sea region, the film is a haunting portrait of a society on the brink of collapse.
The music of Turkey reflects a rich and diverse cultural heritage that blends the influences of the many civilizations that have inhabited the region over the centuries. Traditional Turkish music is characterized by a complex system of modes called “makams,” which are based on microtonal intervals and are highly expressive. It is often performed using unique instruments such as the oud, saz, and ney, among others. In addition to its traditional music, Turkey has a vibrant popular music scene that incorporates Western genres like rock, pop, and hip-hop, as well as traditional instruments and styles. One of the most popular forms of modern Turkish music is “Arabesque,” a style that blends Turkish folk music with Arabic musical forms and was especially popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Notable Turkish musicians include classical composer Ahmet Adnan Saygun, renowned ney player Niyazi Sayin, and pop singer Tarkan, among many others.
Who are the well-known Turkish authors and what are their best works? If you’re keen to find out, we got you covered! Join us as
What are the best Turkey souvenirs and favorite items of someone growing up and living in Turkey? After my blog post Why Your Best Souvenirs