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 for publications such as The Economist and Time magazine, unravels Turkey's complexities. He sets the complications and transformations of present-day Turkey against the historical background of the Ottoman Empire, the secular nationalist revolution led by Kemal Atatürk, and repeated political interventions by the military, which sees itself as the guardian of Atatürk's legacy. Finkel reveals a nation full of surprises. Where else but in Turkey, Finkel writes, would secularist liberals have supported a prime minister who was once jailed for promoting religious extremism? From the Kurdish question to economic policy, from Turkey's role in Iraq to its quest for EU membership, Finkel illuminates the past and present of this unique, and uniquely consequential, country.
©2012 Andrew Finkel (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
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 financial crisis at the beginning of the 21st Century. It managed to put its fiscal house in order and rode out the 2008 recession with minimal problems. Its major problem like many counties must be to lower its debt. Turkey’s economy is built on consumer demand. The mean population is 29; with a young population it also means the people are not saving. Turkey has big manufacturing industries including manufacturing plastic and automobiles. Its construction industry is healthy.
Turkey does have problems with its Kurdish population and with its neighbor Syria as well as Iran. Turkey has a large Sunni population and has supported the Palestinians. Turkey is a favorite tourist destination. In my opinion Turkey needs to work harder to encourage more women into higher education and into its workforce. Turkey has a healthy art, music and literature community. If you want to learn more about Turkey this is a good place to start. Ken Maxon narrated the book.
The author provides a good overview of the current nation of Turkey. As might be expected there's more on political situation than any other aspect of the country. And the liberal (Western definition) tilt of a journalist shows through on occasion.
Definitely worth the time if traveling to Turkey or just interested in the area.
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