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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Trade Paperback. / Publisher: Touchstone Books / Pub. Date: June 1992 Attributes: 233 pages / Stock#: 2065163 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Turkish Reflections: A Biography of a Place Paperback – June 15, 1992


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In an exotic, engaging journey deep into the heart of Turkey, Settle, who won a 1978 National Book Award for her novel Blood Tie (set in Turkey), revisits a country where past and present are everywhere intertwined. Contradicting the unflattering Western stereotypes of Turks, she depicts a people she admires for their capacity for friendship, their essential warmth and honesty. Istanbul, noisy and frantic, is also "as polite and friendly as a country village," and tough-skinned rural folk are "almost naively gentle" beneath their exterior harshness. Settle's hauntingly poetic evocation of a people and place is filled with moments of quiet rapture as she inspects the remains of ancient kingdoms, retraces the paths of Seljuk sultan Aladdin, dips in thermal baths and views mosques and churches, castles, sphinxes and the prison where Nazim Hikmet, Turkey's finest modern poet, was imprisoned for his work.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Long neglected by tourists, Turkey has now become a popular destination and one that is inspiring some excellent travel writing. A country of rich layered history, much of which is still evident to the trained eye, it especially attracts those with antiquarian interests. This is a knowledgeable and affectionate portrait by an American novelist who has done her homework. Her visits, 15 years apart, enabled her to record, among other things, the impact that tourism is having on traditional cultures and landscapes. This thoughtful book deserves to be on any serious reading list on Turkey.
- Harold M. Otness, Southern Ore gon State Coll. Lib., Ashland
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (June 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671779974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671779979
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent and clear-headed book about Turkey before the dynamic capitalism of the 1980's really set in. As such, it is somewhat anachronistic as all books about Turkey quickly tend to become. On the other hand, the general portrait and the beautiful writing make this the best and truest introduction to Turkey yet written. Read it to understand this unique country, a veritable mosaic of ethnicities, customs and histories; spawning a bridge between the East and the West. For people who see the world through narrow eyes, Turkey might be a paradox: the most secular country in the world, with a solidly modern orientation and a predominantly Muslim (but secular!) population. Not a paradox for Settle who has an open mind.
Recall also that Turkey is a country that suffers an unjustly bad image, mainly because of fanatic Greek-Orthodox fundamentalists (e.g. see the one or two silly reviews below by Greek-Americans with no idea of Balkan history!). Mary Lee Settle has done more than anyone else to rectify the balance. She is uniquely qualified to do so because she clearly has no political agenda to settle with the past or with the future...
One can only hope that Mary Lee Settle writes another book covering the breathtaking changes in Turkey in the last 20 years or so with the same clear vision.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent and clear-headed book about Turkey before the dynamic capitalism of the 1980's really set in. As such, it is somewhat anachronistic as all books about Turkey quickly tend to become. On the other hand, the general portrait and the beautiful writing make this the best and truest introduction to Turkey yet written. Read it to understand this unique country, a veritable mosaic of ethnicities, customs and histories; spawning a bridge between the East and the West. For people who see the world through narrow eyes, Turkey might be a paradox: the most secular country in the world, with a solidly modern orientation and a predominantly Muslim (but secular!) population. Not a paradox for Settle who has an open mind.
Recall also that Turkey is a country that suffers an unjustly bad image, mainly because of fanatic Greek-Orthodox fundamentalists (e.g. see the one or two silly reviews below by Greek-Americans with no idea of Balkan history!). Mary Lee Settle has done more than anyone else to rectify the balance. She is uniquely qualified to do so because she clearly has no political agenda to settle with the past or with the future...
One can only hope that Mary Lee Settle writes another book covering the breathtaking changes in Turkey in the last 20 years or so with the same clear vision.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By K. Parsons on December 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
Mary Lee Settle introduced me to a vastly different Turkey than the one I was familiar with through history books, popular sentiment and news articles. As an American, my interest in the "outside world" is often surprising to those from other lands. Turkey never seemed warm, romantic or joyful... until I read and visualized "Turkish Reflections". Rarely has a literary work caused me to experience a place so richly. From the descriptions of Turkish warmth in Bodrum to mind-bending jaunts through 8,000 year old settlements, Settle paints a portrait of a land deliciously steeped in hospitality, tolerance and texture. Political realities notwithstanding, this book establishes Turkey as an extremely desirable place to sojourn.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Being a citizen of Turkey, but of Kurdish origin, I can say that this is the best book that I have ever read - written by a foreigner about Turkey. It is suprising how some other reviewers seem to know the state of Kurds better than we know ourselves. I am very astonished that foreigners think so one sided thigns about us. Most Kurds live outside the southeast and in Kurdistan also Turks feel ill. For most the problem is called poverty. Whatever happens it is always the normal citizens who get the punishment from foreigners - mostly aggressive Greeks. This is very sad because most Greeks never even meet a Turk or a Kurd. If they meet a Kurd, they meet a communist expatriot who has nothing to do with majority of Kurds. Very sad. Thank you for Mary Lee Settle, she saw the reality and wrote very nicely about it. At least she SAW the reality, the reviewers did NOT. Allah Korusun.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By dlipton@ix.netcom.com on May 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
In 1972 the author went to Turkey and stayed for three years because it was cheap, a good place for a writer of limited means. Fourteen years later she returns to the country and people she obviously has a great affection for. She writes that, in Turkey, nothing is wasted. Stones from Greek and Roman temples are used to build Christian churches during the Byzantine Empire and then are converted to mosques during the Ottoman times. Her book also wastes nothing, mixing bits of history, archeology, mythology, and religion to construct a Turkey that is, at once, thousands of years old and modern. This is a great primer for anyone planning on going to Turkey. My wife and I are going in the fall and, after reading this book, I can't wait.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book about a dynamic country. Highly recommended... It tries to do justice to the etnic diversity and tolearance of a country where hundreds of ethnicities peacefully live today under the umbrella of Turkish citizenship. In contrast to the review below, all the ancient cultures of Anatolia and the Balkans are alive in Turkey -- most of whose population consists of Moslemized (but very secular) descendants of those ancient peoples. Isolated outburts of religious/ethnic strife under the Ottomans (during WW I) and later in 1955 (during a Cyprus crisis) do not detract from the tolerance and ethnic harmony of a country which is a veritable mosaic of peoples from the Caucasus to the Balkans, from Albanians to Kurds. Mary Lee Settle draws a good portrait of a fascinating country in which ancient Greece, modern Europe, Hittite culture etc are alive, side by side.
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