Ten books for travelling to Turkey
Travel in Turkey on a small group tour for seniors
Turkey is where the east meets the west: a historic gateway that finds its locus in captivating Istanbul. This is where Odyssey Traveller’s small group tour for seniors begins and ends. We explore nine key cities in Turkey, each of which works like a piece of a puzzle, as we come to understand the unique mixture of cultures, traditions and eras. From ancient Troy and the steepest of theatres in Pergamum, all the way to Ankara, Turkey’s cultural centre. We unwind in Antalya on the Anatolian Mediterranean, learning more about the Asian parts of Turkey. And we uncover Indo-European influences in Thrace: geographic meeting point of the continents. There are some parts of Turkey that are to be avoided in the current political climate, but don’t let this prevent you from experiencing what Turkey has to offer curious travellers.
If you are interested in travelling to Turkey, read on for our list of the best books. They will pique your interests, deepen your understandings, and ignite your senses, preparing you for the surprising delights of Turkey.
1. The Silk Road in World History (2010)
2. Birds Without Wings (2004)
3. A Traveller’s History of Turkey (1993, updated 2015)
4. Turkey: A Short History (2011)
5. Istanbul: A Poetry of Place (2007)
Odyssey Traveller offers regular escorted small group tours to Turkey each year. This link take you to our Tours of Turkey page. Check out Turkey’s official tourism website for more inspiration. And to keep in touch with Odyssey Traveller and receive information on our upcoming tours, please call or send an email. We’d love to hear from you!
6. The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East (2015)
7. My Name is Red (1998)
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. (Pamuk was awarded the Novel Prize in Literature in 2006).
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.
8. Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey (1998)
If you wish to read about some of the more controversial aspects of Turkey’s history, Christopher de Bellaigue’s Rebel Land: Unraveling the Riddle of History in a Turkish Town (2009) examines the Armenian tragedy.
9. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (1989, updated 2009)
by David Dale
Anatolia is a beautifully illustrated exploration of classic Turkish cuisine and culture, adapted for modern life. Turkish-born chef Somer Sivrioglu and co-author David Dale re-imagine the traditions of Turkish cooking, presenting recipes ranging from the grand banquets of the Ottoman empire to the spicy snacks of Istanbul’s street stalls. In doing so they explain their take on the classics and reveal the surrounding rituals, myths, jokes and folk wisdom of both the old and new Turkey.
Somer and David bring us more than 150 accessible recipes with rich colour photographs shot on location in Turkey. Also included are feature spreads on local Turkish chefs and producers and their specialities, adding another fascinating layer to the book. Take a unique glimpse into the worlds of old and new Turkey with this beautiful, multidimensional cookbook.
Odyssey Traveller offers regular escorted small group tours of Egypt, along with other fascinating destinations aross the world. We design educational tours for seniors, and welcome both couples and solo travellers. To learn more about Odyssey Traveller and receive information on our upcoming tours, please call or send an email. We’d love to hear from you!