Turkey Unveiled: Ataturk and After
What is Turkey reallʃy like and what does its future hold? The country’s detractors speak of military coups, torture and a looming Islamic threat on Europe’s doorstep. Its friends see a blunt and hospitable people, a land rich in history and culture, and a strategic Western ally on the flank of NATO. These views are not necessarily contradictory: as the Turks themselves say with a shrug, ‘This is Turkey.’ Theirs is a large and complex country whose economy is booming and whose position, at the crossroads of a Eurasian region steadily recovering from Cold War divisions, guarantees a growing importance in world politics.
Nicole and Hugh Pope, who both speak fluent Turkish, have reported from Turkey and its neighbours for nine years, witnessed key events and interviewed most Turkish leaders, whether in power or in opposition. Here they provide a rich and many-faceted picture of today’s Turkey and its formative past: the strengths and weaknesses of the Ottomans, the Armenian tragedy, the Kurdish struggle and the controversial legacy of the brilliant but autocratic founder of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
They examine too new leaders like the late Turgut Özal who have confidently broken taboos, ushered in new freedoms and led their formerly introverted country on to the international stage. They explain how the new Islamist-led government constitutes not a revolution but perhaps a fresh synthesis with the past. Above all, they provide fascinating and important insights into a country we need more than ever to understand.
Nicole Pope, who is Swiss and who worked previously with the Red Cross in Iraq and Lebanon, now reports for Le Monde and for international radio stations from Turkey.
Hugh Pope read Persian and Arabic at Oxford and over the past fifteen years has reported for The Independent, The Los Angeles Times, the BBC and Reuters on Turks, Kurds, Persians and Arabs in more than two dozen countries of the Muslim world. He has now opened a new bureau for The Wall Street Journal in Istanbul, reporting on Turkey, the Caucasus and Central Asia.