I love to read about a place before, during and after a trip. Both fiction and non-fiction. Any book where the location is one of the characters and you can get a different perspective. After living in Turkey for over two years, I continue to be fascinated by it. Here are a few of my favorite books and movies about Turkey.
Scotch and Holy Water by John Tumpane is an older book that can be hard to find. But it is worth the search. It is laugh out loud funny! It was written in the early 80’s but I found much of it still relatable in 2015. Turkey Bright Sun Strong Tea: On the Road with a Travel Writer by Tom Brosnahan is also a great travel book about Turkey (but not as good).
Inferno by Dan Brown has great Istanbul scenes. In fact, I only watched it to see Istanbul on the big screen. The book is good, but you can’t beat the scenery of the movie.
Netflix series Rise of Empires Ottoman is a great historical drama taking place in 1455. As a more serious alternative, 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West by Roger Crowley will provide you extensive insight into the war for the world’s bridge between Europe and Asia.
The Gendarme by Mark Mustian paints an account of WWI Turkey and the expulsion of Armenians. This is a wonderful and heart wrenching book. Also the non-fiction account, Not Even My Name by Thea Halo provides a detailed picture of these events at the turn of the last century.
And of course, a fail-safe option is anything by Orhan Pamuk, Turkey’s most famous author.