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1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West

By Roger Crowley

Now in trade paperback, a gripping exploration of the fall of Constantinople and its connection to the world we live in today

The fall of Constantinople in 1453 signaled a shift in history, and the end of the Byzantium Empire. Roger Crowley's readable and comprehensive account of the battle between Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine + Read More..
Now in trade paperback, a gripping exploration of the fall of Constantinople and its connection to the world we live in today

The fall of Constantinople in 1453 signaled a shift in history, and the end of the Byzantium Empire. Roger Crowley's readable and comprehensive account of the battle between Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium, illuminates the period in history that was a precursor to the current jihad between the West and the Middle East.
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A Mind at Peace

By Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar

Considered by Orhan Pamuk to be the greatest novel ever written about Istanbul, this is a lyrical tribute to both the city and human love.

A Mind at Peace, originally published in 1949, is a magnum opus, a Turkish Ulysses and a lyrical homage to Istanbul. With an innate awareness of how dueling cultural mentalities can lead to the + Read More..
Considered by Orhan Pamuk to be the greatest novel ever written about Istanbul, this is a lyrical tribute to both the city and human love.

A Mind at Peace, originally published in 1949, is a magnum opus, a Turkish Ulysses and a lyrical homage to Istanbul. With an innate awareness of how dueling cultural mentalities can lead to the distress of divided selves, Tanpinar gauges this moment in history by masterfully portraying its register on the layered psyches of his Istanbulite characters. Set on the eve of World War II in the “city of two continents,” this literary feat is a narrative of duality: a historical novel and a love story (of the senses and the mind), language and music, tradition and modernity, East and West—and of the vital juncture where one young man must attempt to bridge all of these worlds at once.

Surviving the childhood trauma of his parents’ untimely deaths in the early skirmishes of World War I, Mümtaz is raised and mentored in Istanbul by his cousin Ihsan and his cosmopolitan family of intellectuals. Having lived through the tumultuous cultural revolutions following the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of the early Turkish Republic, each is challenged by the difficulties brought about by such rapid social change.

The promise of modernization and progress has given way to crippling anxiety rather than hope for the future. Fragmentation and destabilization seem the only certainties within the new world where they now find themselves. Mümtaz takes refuge in the fading past, immersing himself in literature and music, but when he falls in love with Nuran, a complex woman with demanding relatives, he is forced to confront the challenges of the World at large. Can their love save them from the turbulent times and protect them from disaster, or will inner obsessions, along with powerful social forces seemingly set against them, tear the couple apart?
$10.00
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A Strangeness in My Mind

By Orhan Pamuk

Arriving in Istanbul as a boy, Mevlut Karataş is enthralled by both the old city that is disappearing and the new one that is fast being built. He becomes a street vendor, like his father, hoping to strike it rich, but luck never seems to be on Mevlut’s side. He spends three years writing love letters to a + Read More..
Arriving in Istanbul as a boy, Mevlut Karataş is enthralled by both the old city that is disappearing and the new one that is fast being built. He becomes a street vendor, like his father, hoping to strike it rich, but luck never seems to be on Mevlut’s side. He spends three years writing love letters to a girl he has seen just once, only to elope by mistake with her sister.

Although he grows to cherish his wife and the family they have together, Mevlut stumbles toward middle age as everyone around him seems to be reaping the benefits of a rapidly modernizing Turkey.

Told through the eyes of a diverse cast of characters, in A Strangeness in My Mind Nobel-prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk paints a brilliant tableau of life among the newcomers who have changed the face of Istanbul over the past fifty years.

“An unconventional love story. . . . A hymn to life’s physical and mental chaos.” The New York Times
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Ara Guler’s Istanbul: 40 Years of Photographs

By Ara Guler

This book is a vivid photographic record of daily life in Istanbul from the 1940s to the 1980s. Captured through the unerring lens of the award winning Ara Guler, the Eye of Istanbul, it reflects the city's melancholy aesthetic as it oscillates between tradition and modernity. Gulers remarkable duotone photographs are accompanied by evocative commentaries from Orhan Pamuk, + Read More..
This book is a vivid photographic record of daily life in Istanbul from the 1940s to the 1980s. Captured through the unerring lens of the award winning Ara Guler, the Eye of Istanbul, it reflects the city's melancholy aesthetic as it oscillates between tradition and modernity. Gulers remarkable duotone photographs are accompanied by evocative commentaries from Orhan Pamuk, another leading figure in Turkish culture. Both writer and photographer each held in their youth the ambition of becoming a painter. Here, each in his own way paints a brushless picture of his hometown and captures, through image and word, its very soul.
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Classic Turkish Cooking

By Jonathan Basan

Classic Turkish cooking ranks among the greatest cuisines of the world. It has a long and colorful history, from its nomadic Central Asian routes to the refined recipes of the Ottoman empire that influenced culinary traditions throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean.

In this classic and much-loved work - shortlisted for the Glenfiddich Cookery Award and the Guild + Read More..
Classic Turkish cooking ranks among the greatest cuisines of the world. It has a long and colorful history, from its nomadic Central Asian routes to the refined recipes of the Ottoman empire that influenced culinary traditions throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean.

In this classic and much-loved work - shortlisted for the Glenfiddich Cookery Award and the Guild of Food Writers Award—Ghillie Basan presents a unique collection of delicious traditional dishes from the Anatolian heartlands and sophisticated and classical recipes from the palace kitchens of the Ottoman sultans.
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Constantinople

By Edmondo De Amicis

One of the most enjoyable accounts of the city ever written, full of teeming life and startling contrasts. Yes, times have changed since 1877, but this complex and vibrant portrait of the city remains recognizable.

A remarkable 19th-century account of Constantinople that expertly combines personal anecdote, breathtaking visual observation, and entertaining historical information

Edmondo de Amicis's brilliant look into + Read More..
One of the most enjoyable accounts of the city ever written, full of teeming life and startling contrasts. Yes, times have changed since 1877, but this complex and vibrant portrait of the city remains recognizable.

A remarkable 19th-century account of Constantinople that expertly combines personal anecdote, breathtaking visual observation, and entertaining historical information

Edmondo de Amicis's brilliant look into an integral facet of world history begins with a dazzling description of the city gradually appearing through the fog as the author's ship approaches it through the harbor. His narrative further goes on to provide an invaluable record of Constantinople as it used to be—a fascinating crossroads between Eastern and Western civilization and one of the most cosmopolitan cities of its time—as well as a vivid example of a European tourists' reaction to it—part delight, part incomprehension. This book will provide an enriching read for lovers of history or those planning to visit Istanbul themselves.
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Constantinople: City of the World’s Desire, 1453-1924

By Philip Mansel

A fascinating, wonderfully readable cultural, social and political history of the city in its prime. Rich with anecdotes and information, it is always astonishing and sometimes horrifying.

Philip Mansel's highly acclaimed history absorbingly charts the interaction between the vibrantly cosmopolitan capital of Constantinople - the city of the world's desire - and its ruling family.

In 1453, Mehmed the Conqueror + Read More..
A fascinating, wonderfully readable cultural, social and political history of the city in its prime. Rich with anecdotes and information, it is always astonishing and sometimes horrifying.

Philip Mansel's highly acclaimed history absorbingly charts the interaction between the vibrantly cosmopolitan capital of Constantinople - the city of the world's desire - and its ruling family.

In 1453, Mehmed the Conqueror entered Constantinople on a white horse, beginning an Ottoman love affair with the city that lasted until 1924, when the last Caliph hurriedly left on the Orient Express. For almost five centuries Constantinople, with its enormous racial and cultural diversity, was the centre of the dramatic and often depraved story of an extraordinary dynasty.
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Farewell: A Mansion in Occupied Istanbul

By Ayse Kulin

A sweeping story of the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire over the course of the First World War, "Farewell" is a novel of one particular family living in one particular house during these historic events.
A sweeping story of the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire over the course of the First World War, "Farewell" is a novel of one particular family living in one particular house during these historic events.
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From the Holy Mountain: A Journey among the Christians of the Middle East

By William Dalrymple

In 587 a.d., two monks set off on an extraordinary journey that would take them in an arc across the entire Byzantine world, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt.

On the way John Moschos and his pupil Sophronius the Sophist stayed in caves, monasteries, and remote hermitages, collecting the wisdom of the + Read More..
In 587 a.d., two monks set off on an extraordinary journey that would take them in an arc across the entire Byzantine world, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt.

On the way John Moschos and his pupil Sophronius the Sophist stayed in caves, monasteries, and remote hermitages, collecting the wisdom of the stylites and the desert fathers before their fragile world finally shattered under the great eruption of Islam.

More than a thousand years later, using Moschos's writings as his guide, William Dalrymple sets off to retrace their footsteps and composes "an evensong for a dying civilization" --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
$10.00
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Istanbul Noir

For those fascinated by the darker side of cities, this collection of 16 stories gives some unexpected insights into the people and places – and even the weather – of Istanbul.
For those fascinated by the darker side of cities, this collection of 16 stories gives some unexpected insights into the people and places – and even the weather – of Istanbul.
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Istanbul Passage: A Novel

By Joseph Kanon

In the bestselling tradition of espionage novels by John LeCarre and Alan Furst, Istanbul Passage brilliantly illustrates why Edgar Award–winning author Joseph Kanon has been hailed as "the heir apparent to Graham Greene" (The Boston Globe).

Istanbul survived the Second World War as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even expatriate American Leon Bauer was drawn into this shadow + Read More..
In the bestselling tradition of espionage novels by John LeCarre and Alan Furst, Istanbul Passage brilliantly illustrates why Edgar Award–winning author Joseph Kanon has been hailed as "the heir apparent to Graham Greene" (The Boston Globe).

Istanbul survived the Second World War as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even expatriate American Leon Bauer was drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs in support of the Allied war effort. Now as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, Leon is given one last routine assignment. But when the job goes fatally wrong—an exchange of gunfire, a body left in the street, and a potential war criminal on his hands—Leon is trapped in a tangle of shifting loyalties and moral uncertainty.

Played out against the bazaars and mosques and faded mansions of this knowing, ancient Ottoman city, Istanbul Passage is the unforgettable story of a man swept up in the dawn of the Cold War, of an unexpected love affair, and of a city as deceptive as the calm surface waters of the Bosphorus that divides it.
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Istanbul: Memories and the City

By Orhan Pamuk

A shimmering evocation, by turns intimate and panoramic, of one of the world’s great cities, by its foremost writer. Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul and still lives in the family apartment building where his mother first held him in her arms.

His portrait of his city is thus also a self-portrait, refracted by memory and the melancholy–or + Read More..
A shimmering evocation, by turns intimate and panoramic, of one of the world’s great cities, by its foremost writer. Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul and still lives in the family apartment building where his mother first held him in her arms.

His portrait of his city is thus also a self-portrait, refracted by memory and the melancholy–or hüzün– that all Istanbullus share: the sadness that comes of living amid the ruins of a lost empire. With cinematic fluidity, Pamuk moves from his glamorous, unhappy parents to the gorgeous, decrepit mansions overlooking the Bosphorus; from the dawning of his self-consciousness to the writers and painters–both Turkish and foreign–who would shape his consciousness of his city.

Like Joyce’s Dublin and Borges’ Buenos Aires, Pamuk’s Istanbul is a triumphant encounter of place and sensibility, beautifully written and immensely moving.
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Last Train to Istanbul: A Novel

By Ayse Kulin

International bestseller by one of Turkey’s most beloved authors.

As the daughter of one of Turkey’s last Ottoman pashas, Selva could win the heart of any man in Ankara. Yet the spirited young beauty only has eyes for Rafael Alfandari, the handsome Jewish son of an esteemed court physician. In defiance of their families, they marry, fleeing to Paris + Read More..
International bestseller by one of Turkey’s most beloved authors.

As the daughter of one of Turkey’s last Ottoman pashas, Selva could win the heart of any man in Ankara. Yet the spirited young beauty only has eyes for Rafael Alfandari, the handsome Jewish son of an esteemed court physician. In defiance of their families, they marry, fleeing to Paris to build a new life.

But when the Nazis invade France, the exiled lovers will learn that nothing—not war, not politics, not even religion—can break the bonds of family. For after they learn that Selva is but one of their fellow citizens trapped in France, a handful of brave Turkish diplomats hatch a plan to spirit the Alfandaris and hundreds of innocents, many of whom are Jewish, to safety. Together, they must traverse a war-torn continent, crossing enemy lines and risking everything in a desperate bid for freedom. From Ankara to Paris, Cairo, and Berlin, Last Train to Istanbul is an uplifting tale of love and adventure from Turkey’s beloved bestselling novelist Ayşe Kulin.
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Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India

By Rory MacLean

In the 1960s, hundreds of thousands of young Westerners, inspired by Kerouac and the Beatles, blazed the 'hippie trail' overland from Istanbul to Kathmandu in search of enlightenment and a bit of cheap dope.

Since the Summer of Love, the countries that offered so much to these dreamers have confronted the full force of modernity and transformed from worlds + Read More..
In the 1960s, hundreds of thousands of young Westerners, inspired by Kerouac and the Beatles, blazed the 'hippie trail' overland from Istanbul to Kathmandu in search of enlightenment and a bit of cheap dope.

Since the Summer of Love, the countries that offered so much to these dreamers have confronted the full force of modernity and transformed from worlds of Western fantasy to political minefields. Through a landscape of breathtaking beauty Rory MacLean retraces the path of the once well-worn 'hippie trail' from Turkey to Iran, Afghanistan to Pakistan, India to Nepal, meeting trail veterans and locals on his way, and relives wide-eyed adventures as he witnesses a world of extraordinary and terrifying transformation.
$10.00
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Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul

By Charles King

“Timely . . . brilliant . . . hugely enjoyable, magnificently researched and deeply absorbing.”―Jason Goodwin, New York Times Book Review

At midnight, December 31, 1925, citizens of the newly proclaimed Turkish Republic celebrated the New Year. For the first time ever, they had agreed to use a nationally unified calendar and clock. Yet in Istanbul―an ancient crossroads and + Read More..
“Timely . . . brilliant . . . hugely enjoyable, magnificently researched and deeply absorbing.”―Jason Goodwin, New York Times Book Review

At midnight, December 31, 1925, citizens of the newly proclaimed Turkish Republic celebrated the New Year. For the first time ever, they had agreed to use a nationally unified calendar and clock. Yet in Istanbul―an ancient crossroads and Turkey's largest city―people were looking toward an uncertain future.

Never purely Turkish, Istanbul was home to generations of Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, as well as Muslims. It welcomed White Russian nobles ousted by the Russian Revolution, Bolshevik assassins on the trail of the exiled Leon Trotsky, German professors, British diplomats, and American entrepreneurs―a multicultural panoply of performers and poets, do-gooders and ne’er-do-wells. During the Second World War, thousands of Jews fleeing occupied Europe found passage through Istanbul, some with the help of the future Pope John XXIII. At the Pera Palace, Istanbul's most luxurious hotel, so many spies mingled in the lobby that the manager posted a sign asking them to relinquish their seats to paying guests.

In beguiling prose and rich character portraits, Charles King brings to life a remarkable era when a storied city stumbled into the modern world and reshaped the meaning of cosmopolitanism.

32 photographs
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My Name Is Red

By Orhan Pamuk

At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers.

The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in + Read More..
At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers.

The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land to create a great book celebrating the glories of his realm. Their task: to illuminate the work in the European style. But because figurative art can be deemed an affront to Islam, this commission is a dangerous proposition indeed. The ruling elite therefore mustn’t know the full scope or nature of the project, and panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears. The only clue to the mystery–or crime? –lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex and power.
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Portrait of a Turkish Family

By Irfan Orga

Describes in chilling, yet affectionate, detail the disintegration of a wealthy Ottoman family, both financially and emotionally.

It is rich with the scent of fin de siecle Istanbul in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. His mother was a beauty, married at thirteen, as befitted a Turkish woman of her class. His grandmother was an eccentric autocrat, + Read More..
Describes in chilling, yet affectionate, detail the disintegration of a wealthy Ottoman family, both financially and emotionally.

It is rich with the scent of fin de siecle Istanbul in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. His mother was a beauty, married at thirteen, as befitted a Turkish woman of her class. His grandmother was an eccentric autocrat, determined at all costs to maintain her traditional habits. But the war changed everything. Death and financial disaster reigned, the Sultan was overthrown, and Turkey became a republic. The red fez was ousted by the cloth cap, and the family was forced to adapt to an unimaginably impoverished life.

Filled with brilliant vignettes of old Turkish life, such as the ritual weekly visit to the hamam, as it tells the "other side " of the Gallipoli story, and its impact on one family and the transformation of a nation.
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Songs My Mother Never Taught Me

By Selcuk Altun

“Altun offers us three delights for the price of one: a brilliantly edgy, witty thriller that rivals Highsmith; a metaphysical puzzle that Borges would be proud to call his own; and a tale of two assassins that conveys, better than any other novel I have read, the way that money talks in Istanbul.”—Maureen Freely

"A deft, zinging whodunnit which + Read More..
“Altun offers us three delights for the price of one: a brilliantly edgy, witty thriller that rivals Highsmith; a metaphysical puzzle that Borges would be proud to call his own; and a tale of two assassins that conveys, better than any other novel I have read, the way that money talks in Istanbul.”—Maureen Freely

"A deft, zinging whodunnit which is also a metaphysical puzzle worthy of the Oulipo group. Altun’s prose has a dreamlike urgency; his novel is a major achievement."—John Ashbery

After the death of his overbearing mother, the privileged Arda reclines in his wealth, reflecting on his young life and on the life of his father, the famous mathematician Mürsel Ergenekon, who was murdered on Arda’s fourteenth birthday. While on the other side of the city, “your humble servant” Bedirhan has decided to pack in his ten-year career as an assassin.

Their two lives become intrinsically bound in this remarkable thriller that takes us through the streets of Istanbul. We learn that Bedirhan in fact killed Arda’s father, and that they share more in common than he or we could imagine.

Meanwhile, Selçuk Altun, a former family friend, is playing a deadly game, providing Arda with clues to track down his father’s killer.

Selçuk Altun was born in Artvin, Turkey, in 1950. He lives in Istanbul, and Songs My Mother Never Taught Me is his fourth novel to be published in Turkish. He is a retired banking executive and a bibliophile.
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Strolling Through Istanbul: The Classic Guide to the City

By John Freely

This classic guide to Istanbul by Hilary Sumner-Boyd and John Freely takes the reader on foot through Istanbul. The authors describe the historic monuments and sites of what was once Constantinople and the capital, in turn, of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, in the context of the great living city.

Woven throughout are anecdotes, secret histories, hidden gems, + Read More..
This classic guide to Istanbul by Hilary Sumner-Boyd and John Freely takes the reader on foot through Istanbul. The authors describe the historic monuments and sites of what was once Constantinople and the capital, in turn, of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, in the context of the great living city.

Woven throughout are anecdotes, secret histories, hidden gems, and every major place of interest the traveler will want to see. Practical and informative, readable and vividly described, this is the definitive guide to and story of Istanbul, by those who know it best.
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Sultan’s Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook

By Ozcan Ozan

"Not to be missed…a gem. This is real Old World cooking…devotees of Mediterranean cuisine would be remiss not to add this book to their collection."—Boston Globe

Ranging from favorites such as chickpea pilaf to richly stewed lamb on a bed of eggplant, today's Turkish cuisine is fresh, distinctive, and flavorful—the result of over five centuries of culinary tradition.

Whether you + Read More..
"Not to be missed…a gem. This is real Old World cooking…devotees of Mediterranean cuisine would be remiss not to add this book to their collection."—Boston Globe

Ranging from favorites such as chickpea pilaf to richly stewed lamb on a bed of eggplant, today's Turkish cuisine is fresh, distinctive, and flavorful—the result of over five centuries of culinary tradition.

Whether you want to warm up with a tangy Peasant Soup (a hearty chicken soup), or top off a meal with a mouthwatering Pistachio Seomina Cake, The Sultan's Kitchen will show you how to produce the exotic tastes and aromas of Turkish food in your own kitchen. It offers over 125 healthy, delicious recipes that are both easy to prepare and based on readily available ingredients.

The Sultan's Kitchen also shows you how to prepare a complete Turkish dinner, and features stunning images by photographer Carl Tremblay. This Turkish cookbook is sure to inspire you to create meals fit for a Sultan!