Erdogan Rising: the Battle for the Soul of Turkey

Author(s): Hannah Lucinda Smith

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“Smith’s narrative has an empathetic and fair-minded grasp of Turkey’s colliding narratives. She reminds us, for instance, that behind the haze of Kemalist nostalgia, [Kemal Ataturk founder of the Republic] was a despot with crackpot genetic theories. She makes mincemeat of the cuddly makeover of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed Kurdish leader, as a grassroots mystic and eco-warrior. Her acute observations are multi-barrelled: “Turkey is different from other countries falling under the sway of strongmen. It boasts not one, but two — perhaps even three or four — coexisting personality cults.” Ataturk, dead for more than 80 years, is still Mr Erdogan’s main rival. 

Smith’s book is full of dazzling cameos and incidental delights. Among my favourites: the rise of halal hotel chains; the bizarre conjunction of “celeb wild-child” Lindsay Lohan and Mr Erdogan’s spin machine; and a truck driver who tells her: “The most important thing that has changed under Mr Erdogan is that, before, women were invisible . . . now, they’ve become our brains.”  

David Gardner – Financial Times   (JC BookGrocer)

General Fields

  • : 9780008308858
  • : HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • : Harper Element
  • : 0.27
  • : August 2019
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Hannah Lucinda Smith
  • : Paperback
  • : English; Turkish
  • : 288