Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy

Turkey The Insane and the Melancholy Turkey is a nation of contradictions and contrasts Though considered democratic the Erdogan government has increasingly begun to resemble a dictatorship jailing it opponents and violently suppressin

  • Title: Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy
  • Author: Ece Temelkuran Zeynep Beler
  • ISBN: 9781783608904
  • Page: 396
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Turkey is a nation of contradictions and contrasts Though considered democratic, the Erdogan government has increasingly begun to resemble a dictatorship, jailing it opponents and violently suppressing dissent And though Turkey is notionally secular, the Justice and Development Party s power has fed the creeping influence of religious conservatism, with figures in the paTurkey is a nation of contradictions and contrasts Though considered democratic, the Erdogan government has increasingly begun to resemble a dictatorship, jailing it opponents and violently suppressing dissent And though Turkey is notionally secular, the Justice and Development Party s power has fed the creeping influence of religious conservatism, with figures in the party denouncing abortion rights and attempting to criminalize adultery Having long occupied an uneasy middle ground between a secular West and Islamic East, Turkey has been drawn into the conflicts of its neighbors, including the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war, and the rise of ISIS In this fascinating portrait of a nation in turmoil, the renowned Turkish journalist and novelist Ece Temelkuran provides a vivid and deeply personal account of the crisis afflicting modern Turkey Temelkuran identifies a long running culture of repression and authoritarianism that has plagued Turkey throughout its history, a culture she traces back to the fall of the Ottomans and the continued climate of denial around the Armenian genocide But, she firmly believes there is still a strong voice of dissent in Turkey, and she argues that the Gezi Park protests of 2013 represented a glimmer of hope that has not yet been fully extinguished and may still grow to rejuvenate democracy in the country Providing unique insight into Turkey s ongoing political turmoil, this is a timely look at a country that is caught at the center of many of the changes and much of the turmoil of the Middle East today.

    One thought on “Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy”

    1. Imagine that there are an escalating litany of terrible things happening in your country that for some reason no one is talking about. Past and current crimes are unacknowledged, ordinary political discourse is both callous and unhinged, but meanwhile institutions and society at-large continues on as if nothing is happening. This is a recipe for mass insanity, but it is also a feeling that is commonly shared among many people today. This wonderful book is an examination of this phenomenon as it [...]

    2. This book deserves praise not only for the wonderful and insightful writing, but also for the courage that it took to write it. I can't remember reading a non-fiction book that made me want to read the author's fiction as much as this one did. I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone!

    3. I really enjoyed this one. I have this love of Turkey which I can't really explain: it's something to do with a thousand years ago, something to do with the Ottomans, something to do with living in a Turkish area of London, and a lot to do with Istanbul. I don't know that I understand why I have this far away love of Turkey any better through reading this book, but the complicated twist of emotions found in it resonated with me in lots of ways. The book is a kind of socio-cultural psychological [...]

    4. Interesting; funny and heartbreaking at the same time, Ece Temelkuran's history of Turkey and its current politics is a page turner.As an activist, I know some of the situations described, but her writing brought them closer to home, and not just metaphorically. I realised that our countries are more similar than we think, for better or for worse, and a better understading of Turkey's transformations in the last century definitely help me understand my own country much better.

    5. Not long ago I read the wonderful "A Russia Diary" by the murdered Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya.She was a witness to, and chronicles, the giddy optimism I the immediate aftermath of the fall of Communism, the rise of the corporate state and the ascent of Putin, and finally the slow crawl of dismantling parliamentary democracy and the rise of Authoritarianism.With similar melancholy and at times hilarious incredulity, Temelkuran describes the similar trajectory of Turkey toward a one pa [...]

    6. "Part memoir, part historical rumination, part jeremiad against the current government, Temelkuran's book is an attempt to come to grips with her 'troubled, ill-fated and perplexing country' and its 'great, long madness.' The portrait she paints is uncomplimentary but loving; its harshness is born of honest observation and heartfelt concern. Her anger is genuine, deep, and unsparing, but–not unlike the withering critique one might offer a wayward but still beloved spouse–its aim is to prompt [...]

    7. This shares what appears the overreaching powers of the current ruler as he appears to have an impact of what is shown on television. Shares the coups that occurred and their impacts (violence) and even goes back to 1453 when the city was concurred. Mentions the changes in clothing (even HATS!), schooling, and other items. Insightful. B/w photos.

    8. Not totally in love with the haphazard presentation however a very interesting read and glad I picked it up. Would definitely go for an further books on Turkey she may write inşallah

    9. As Ece Temelkuran gives us an insight into politics in Turkey, describing the growing rise of fascism there and how much of it started off with a narrative of "let's give him a chance", in a style that I can't say I quite enjoyed (mainly because it felt slightly here and there at times), I couldn't help but draw parallels with the current situation in India. Although it isn't quite as alarming as it is currently in Turkey, India might soon get there and so I think there is a lot one could learn [...]

    10. I've always found something very close to what I feel in Temelkuran's writing. Barring the shame that I had to read this beautiful work in a second language even though we share the same mother tongue (thanks a lot Turkish politics), this encounter had left me in tears at times.I don't know if the book has been printed in Turkish. Though I searched, I couldn't find a Turkish version. And in a sense, I am grateful.Without falling into the pit of "agreed upon" statements, Temelkuran boldly defines [...]

    11. The author has a talent for presenting the subtleties and sensitivities that define a place. Within one book, you have the romantic descriptions found in travelogues, rich cultural and historical context given in academic literature, heart-wrenching anecdotes and social critique found in journalism and the most intimate personal accounts as if it were Ece Temelkuran's memoir. Brave, honest words spoken from a penetrating mind. Can't wait to read more from her!

    12. I have little objection to the content of the text. It's a very informative reading, especially for a foreigner, I guess. I wholeheartedly agree on most of the points she presents us. But it is the "style" of Temelkuran, we are familiar with, that I am not much attracted.I'm not expecting a scholarly articulation. That's not her way. She likes writing emotionally; by pathos, passionately. She jumps from subject to subject frequently. Although this is done on purpose, I think an editorial touch c [...]

    13. I've had the opportunity through recent readings to contemplate the position of ancient Asian civilisations forced to confront the reality of the rise of European power - intellectual, military, economic. Japan, China, India, the Levant each adapted differently and painfully, but none so schizophrenically as Turkey, where a serious attempt was made to repackage lost empire as victory. Turkey abandoned its own culture to the extent that a typical adult, circa 1960, couldn't read simple texts in h [...]

    14. About the near history of Turkey . I enjoyed reading it though I don't agree with her opinions about PKK , Armenian Deportation. Especially I like the photo album part which summarises the important political events of Turkish History . It is worth reading .

    15. De stanga sau de dreapta, dictaturile incep prin a fi populare.Apoi devin dictaturi.O carte de referinta, in care Romania de astazi transpare, chiar daca totul se petrece in Turcia.Un eseu despre pasiunea romanilor pentru filmele cu otomani.De citit cu atentie, doar printre randuri.

    16. Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy is such an interesting book, and one that is likely quite different from many of your recent reads. Even if you read a lot of contemporary nonfiction, this sort of not-quite-memoir, not-quite-history, not-quite-political-assessment writing lives in an odd in-between realm when it comes to literature. It's rather fascinating, even as the book drags in parts.As a reader with relatively little understanding of internal Turkish politics (or indeed, Turkish histo [...]

    17. Turkey is nothing like the USA, but we could learn from the creeping growth of fascism. Turkey was where we are, people saying "give it/him a chance" and getting used to being lied to by the government. Hopefully the US will wake up before we get to where Turkey is now - no more free press, no independent judiciary - and saddest of all, the mere act of being polite is revolutionary.

    18. Might be eye-opening for some. Some might just look in a different direction. This book came up in 2015. Lots of things happened since. Still. Very, very insightful.

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