Born into privilege to one of the last Ottoman pashas, beautiful, spirited Selva is the brightest jewel in her father’s household - until she falls in love with Rafael Alfandari. Though Turkey has long been a safe haven for Jews, marriage between a high-ranking Muslim girl and a Jewish boy is strictly forbidden. Yet young love will not be denied, and Selva and Rafael defy their parents and marry, fleeing to Paris in hopes of a better life - only to find themselves trapped in the path of the invading Nazis.
"I didn't care for the narration"
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. Like Joyce’s Dublin and Borges’ Buenos Aires, Pamuk’s Istanbul is a triumphant encounter of place and sensibility, beautifully written and immensely moving.
"travel that never leaves home"
Turkey's greatest living novelist guides us through the monuments and lost paradises, dilapidated Ottoman villas, back streets, and waterways of Istanbul - the city of his birth and the home of his imagination.
In her second novel written in English, Elif Shafak confronts her country's violent past in a vivid and colorful tale set in both Turkey and the United States. At its center is the "bastard" of the title, Asya, a 19-year-old woman who loves Johnny Cash and the French Existentialists, and the four sisters of the Kazanci family who all live together in an extended household in Istanbul.
The first World War is underway; Germany has allied with the Ottoman Empire, and the Turkish caliphs have declared jihad on the British Empire. Meanwhile, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson hesitates to enter the fray. Aboard the passenger liner Lusitania, war correspondent and American spy Kit Cobb has been assigned to shadow a German intellectual and possible covert agent who is believed to have information vital to the war effort. During the voyage Cobb is smitten with famed actress Selene Bourgani, who inexplicably seems to be working for the Germans.
"The narrator is simply painful"
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.
A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul has spent the war as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even American businessman Leon Bauer has been drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs for 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, he is given one more assignment, a routine job that goes fatally wrong, plunging him into a tangle of intrigue and moral confusion.
"What choice do you make when all options are bad?"
The undersecretary of the British embassy in Istanbul has died while attempting to swim the Dardanelles Straits. The circumstances of his death have to be investigated, so the Foreign Office sends out an officer: Sandor Seymour, an unobtrusive Special Branch detective.
"This series is worth a listen"
Following years of lonely political exile in Western Europe, Ka, a middle-aged poet, returns to Istanbul to attend his mother's funeral. Only partly recognizing this place of his cultured, middle-class youth, he is even more disoriented by news of strange events in the wider country: a wave of suicides among girls forbidden to wear their head scarves at school.
"All the good & bad that is Pamuk"
With Stalin on the move to build a Russian empire that runs from the Arctic Circle to the Indian Ocean, Jake and Sally Burnes are dispatched to an exotic new location outside the sphere of traditional American interests: Istanbul.
An adventure thriller set in Turkey. Tom Smith flies to Istanbul to join his fiancée for a holiday. But Angela fails to meet him that evening as arranged, and she is not at her apartment either. The next morning, Tom hears some terrible news. Angela was killed in a driving accident - a week ago.
Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.
In rural Turkey, Meryem is raped by her uncle. Outcast for shaming her family, she is expected to kill herself. Her commando cousin instead tells her he will take her to Istanbul. By chance, they meet Irfan, a celebrity professor who has left his wife, and the three embark on a journey that shows what unexpected things can happen in the space between wounded people.
"A fascinating journey"
In 1975, a People's Militia homicide investigator is on a plane for Istanbul when it is hijacked by Armenian terrorists. Before the Turkish authorities can fulfill the hijackers' demands, the plane explodes in midair. Two investigators, a secret policeman and a homicide detective, are assigned to the case.
"Hyper-original Espionage/Crime/Revenge Thriller"
"One of my top 3"
The body of a young Englishwoman washes up in Istanbul wearing a pendant inscribed with the seal of the deposed sultan. The death resembles the unsolved murder of another Englishwoman, 10 years before. A magistrate in the new secular courts, Kamil Pasha, sets out to find the killer, but his dispassionate belief in science and modernity is shaken by betrayal and widening danger. In a mystical voice, a young Muslim woman recounts her own relationship with one of the dead women and with the suspected killer.
"The Sultan's Seal"
Wondering how to make use of all that spare time on the plane while you're flying to Istanbul or Ankara? Between your in-flight meal and your in-flight movie, try some In-Flight Turkish! This 60-minute program is the simplest way to learn just enough Turkish to get through anything you'll run into, whether you're traveling for business or for pleasure. Short lessons make In-Flight Turkish easy to use.
"The worst language book I've ever encountered"