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Turkey: What Everyone Needs to Know

3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  115 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Turkey occupies a strategic position in today's world: the only predominantly Muslim nation to be a member of NATO and an ally of Israel, it straddles both Europe and Asia. Turkey is the link between Islam and Western democracy, between Europe and the Middle East. In this concise introduction, Andrew Finkel, who has spent twenty years in Turkey writing about the country fo ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published March 2nd 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published February 2nd 2012)
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Jean Poulos
Jul 15, 2015 Jean Poulos rated it liked it
The author Andrew Finkel is a veteran journalist. Finkel has spent the past twenty years writing about Turkey for The Economist and Time magazine.

With the Middle East problems I thought a nice quick overview of Turkey would he beneficial as Turkey sits on the divide between Europe and Asia.

The book is easy to read in a question and answer style. The book provides a brief review of Turkey’s history and then goes into current problems the area and Turkey face.

Finkel states that Turkey had a financ
TR Peterson
Nov 29, 2015 TR Peterson rated it liked it
Shelves: unowned
Finkel's book on the current political situation and international standing of modern Turkey is an informative read that will bring to light much of Turkey's current political issues.[return][return]He covers everything from Ataturk to the current arguments for and against European Union membership to the economic situation in Istanbul as the ever changing cultural center of Turkey.[return][return]Perhaps the most fascinating parts of the book deal with Turkey's as yet untapped potential as a mo ...more
Sep 11, 2015 carlageek rated it really liked it
Pretty readable overview of the forces at play in modern Turkey. Finkel covers the tension in Turkey between the desire to be a modern western-style democracy and accepted into the EU on one hand, and the historical, nationalist, and religious forces that interfere with that desire on the other. Later chapters on Turkey's relationship with Islam and with its ethnic minorities, especially Kurds and Armenians, are especially interesting.

I find books like this difficult - everything makes sense whi
Geoffrey Fox
Jun 28, 2013 Geoffrey Fox rated it really liked it
This concise, quick read will be a good starting point for anyone who needs to know about this surprising country. Finkel covers a breadth of topics and suggests linkages among them — language, regional disparities, ethnic history and conflicts, political history, current party and government structure, economic potential and weaknesses, religious tolerance and conflicts, and Turkey's complex and fluid geopolitical strategy. Not a word about the country's vibrant arts scene — theater, literature ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Lupa rated it liked it
An interesting read that addresses important issues about Turkey. The book analyzes, briefly, the relationship with the US and the conflicting relationship with the Armenian and Kurdish but, unfortunately it was not what I had expected. The writer stress much more the economic and politics aspects than cultural and historical factors. It really lacked an analysis of the complex Turkish society, their social strata and the huge cultural diversity and its historical roots .
Lowell Nelson
May 20, 2016 Lowell Nelson rated it really liked it
Good summary of issues in modern Turkey, helps you understand things you read about in the news. Some parts, for instance about EU accession and the political parties in Turkey, got a little too detailed for me, but regardless presented a valuable, and I think generally balanced, overview of major political, economic, and cultural issues of modern Turkey.
Jeremy Barker
Oct 15, 2013 Jeremy Barker rated it it was amazing
This is a great entry book for someone who wants a quick reference on a wide-range of issues relating to modern Turkey. The writing style is very engaging. The author's twenty plus years of experience as a journalist covering Turkey gives him a great knowledge of the topic as well as a readable style.

The format of the book works very well. It is arranged into chapters of loosely categorized questions and answers. The book has a great amount of breadth and the depth is such that it does not overl
Xander Mitchell
Aug 13, 2015 Xander Mitchell rated it really liked it
The better of the two primers about Turkey that I read in anticipation of my trip to the country. Finkel's writing is accessible and engaging, and he very efficiently captures the most important aspects of a complex country. He opines on tough subjects - Armenia, the Kurdish situation, the status of women and LGBT people in Turkey, for example - and the book is fairly enjoyable. I highly recommend it for anybody interested in visiting Turkey.
I only give it three stars because, to me, it was not the most engaging of books. It is not bad, just not riveting. However, what it does provide is a good overview of Turkish history and politics in a fairly concise way. The book is part of an Oxford UP series on "what everyone needs to know" on various topics. I do like the format of the book as question and answer as it allows for learning in small chunks. It also lends itself to just finding what you need to know on a specific topic. So, if ...more
Feb 28, 2013 David rated it liked it
Shelves: turkish-history
Finkel gives an optimistic perspective on the history, complexity, and potential of The Turkish Republic. He operates on an understanding that a democracy is often best demonstrated by the activity and treatment of its minorities and in this Turkey has made some advances and still has work to do. Finkel's metaphor of an adolescent is particularly interesting applied to the "young republic." I prefer the structure of The Crescent and Star to this, but the optimism is the same and both books deriv ...more
Samar Dahmash Jarrah
Aug 21, 2014 Samar Dahmash Jarrah rated it really liked it
A great book to introduce your self to Turkey. It makes you want to read other books.
Mar 03, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it
A very good starting point for understanding the complexity and background that comprises modern Turkey. Much of his analysis stands up in the years following publication (2012) although there are gaps now after a few elections and the luster of the AKP is fading, the Kurdish peace process has reversed, and the civil war in Syria has escalated and thrown Turkish foreign policy into uncertainty. An excellent companion book to media reports and recent developments.
Steve Hanson
Mar 31, 2013 Steve Hanson rated it really liked it
A good general introduction to modern Turkey. Finkel touches on many current issues and trends, and gives historical background where necessary. I would say it is a fairly balanced presentation, looking at strengths, issues and weaknesses. For me, I would like to see a bit more depth but I think it functions well as an overview or introduction to the present state of Turkey.
Sep 08, 2014 Jeff rated it really liked it
Good introduction to Turkey; briefly covers the key issues in politics and society, leaving the details -- particularly on controversial issues -- to further reading elsewhere.
Apr 29, 2013 Phil rated it really liked it
Shelves: turkey
Excellent (and current) take on the cultural/political happenings in Turkey. Can get a little down in the weeks, but a great primer for a soon-to-be-traveler (me) to keep from being a "stranger in a strange land."
Mar 13, 2013 Eric rated it liked it
Nice enough intro to Turkish culture and society. Full of typos, which is annoying and distracting, not the level you would expect from Oxford.
Jun 28, 2015 Justine rated it liked it
A good introduction to Turkey, though very brief, somewhat opinionated, and badly in need of an editor.
Jakob Bork
Mar 13, 2016 Jakob Bork rated it liked it
Shelves: society-politics
A great introduction to a nation you need to understand a little better.
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Andrew Finkel is a journalist who has been based in Turkey for twenty years. His reporting has appeared in The Economist, Time, The Daily Telegraph, The Times of London, and the New York Times. He has appeared on CNN and Turkish-language television, and he has become a featured columnist in the Turkish press.
More about Andrew Finkel...

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