I like to read a few books before each trip so that I have a better understanding of the culture and local life of my next destination. Of course, there are guides that I read before I go or even before choosing my next destination, but my favorite are fantastic novels. I like to read stories that are happening in this country or whose authors are from this country.
Below is a great list of travel books for Turkey, some by Turkish authors. If you are considering traveling to Turkey soon, make time to read at least a few of them, perhaps they will make you have a dream trip earlier than expected.
1) Yasar Kemal, The birds have also disappeared
A short novel by one of the internationally renowned and widely read authors in Turkey, who is also a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. In this book, the author tells the story of three boys who struggle to survive in the ever-changing environment of a big city: Istanbul.
2) John David Tumpane, Scotch and Holy Water
An entertaining book about Turkish people and life in Turkey, written by an American author who has lived in Turkey for 10 years. From the perspective of a Turkish person, you may find the author arrogant and the observations exaggerated, but it will certainly be helpful for Americans in understanding Turkish thinking. "We arrived in Istanbul via Pan Am after midnight. On my way to town, all the neon signs looked so strange to me: Tuzcuoglu, Haci Bekir Lokumlari, Koc. I thought I would never be able to learn this language. Then I saw a sign with a sign." Bankasi "and I was sure the word" bank "was lurking around there. Since I already knew a word in Turkish, I decided to stay"
3) Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul Memories and the City
The Nobel Prize winner recalls Istanbul from a young age. The Istanbul melancholy has enriched his childhood and continues to inspire him. "… the melancholy of this dying culture was all around us. Great as the desire to decay and modernize could be, the more desperate the desire seemed to be to get rid of all the bitter memories of a fallen empire: more like a twisted lover throws away clothes, belongings and pictures of his lost lover "
4) Mustafa Zialan and Amy Spangler (editors), Istanbul Noir
Made up of 16 stories, all original, some of the most exciting authors in Turkey; the result is an underground portrait of the city and of Turkey, told in challenging, often poetic and powerful language.
5) Louis de Berniere, Birds without wings
Birds without Wings is a novel by Louis de Berniere that tells the tragic love story of Philotheus, a Christian girl and Ibrahim, her childhood friend and Muslim. The story is set in Eskibahche, a small fictional village; though fictional, the setting of Eskibahche is based in the village of Kayakoy near Fethiye, the ruins of which still exist today; beautiful historical romance novel.
6) Elif Safak, the flea palace
Safak is a young Turkish novelist, bestselling writer in Turkey, France and Bulgaria. The Flea Palace is a novel about the daily routines of the occupants of an Istanbul apartment building called the BonBon Palace, a miniature representation of the city itself, a city of contrasts and contradictions, a city where the East meets the West. Here is an excerpt from the flea palace: "Istanbul was under intense fog this morning, and because all Istanbulites knew all too well, during the foggy days, even the city itself could not tell what its color was. However, Agrippina Feodorovna Antipova was always pampered with great caring since birth and was subsequently forced to assume that others are guilty when she cannot get something she wants … "
7) Tales from Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey
Non-filtering Anthology, created and edited by Anastasia M. Ashman and Jennifer Eaton Gokmen. The collection includes the life experiences of 32 immigrant women from seven countries and five continents, whose collective experience spans over the past four decades. These diverse women describe the religion, culture, conflicts, traditions and customs in terms of foreign women who live and work in Turkey. They will take you to the narrow streets of Istanbul, warm homes and stifle Hama. If you are planning a visit to Turkey soon, this book is a great read to warm your heart to the Turkish people.