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The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
by Samuel P. Huntington
Edition: Paperback
447 used & new from $0.01

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clash of Civilizations, January 2, 2002
Although this is a very influential and widely read book I can't help raising some comments regarding the author's comments on Turkey.
Isn't it an inconsistency that defining Turkey as a torn country between Western civilization and Islamic civilization and then lumping her to Islamic civilization? If Turkey is a torn country how certain could the author be when he lumps Turkey to Islamic civilization in every example? He could have been more careful to classify Turkey as an Islamic country, especially in his odd scenario. In that Huntington has a prophecy that Turkey is being taken over by Islamic fundamentalists. In fact, their vote declined substantially since 1996. Ironically, the so-called fundamentalists openly supported Turkey's application to European Union. All these show that Huntington is not aware how Westernization has penetrated into the minds of majority in Turkey.
I also did not find the claim that Western civilization is in decline convincing. Its territorial dominance declined since 1900's. Huntington shows this as if it is an evidence to the decline. Does this really show a decline? Technologically, militariliy and scientifically Western is more superior to Islam than it was in 1900. The West today has more sophisticated weapons than muslim countries have. Muslim countries were able defeat and end the dominance of West in the 1900's. Today this doesn't look possible. It didn't happen in Iraq in 1991 and Afghanistan in 2001.
But this book is definetely very interesting and must read.

The Development of Secularism in Turkey
The Development of Secularism in Turkey
by Niyazi Berkes
Edition: Paperback
Price: $61.17
44 used & new from $41.25

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Struggle for Modernization in Muslim Turkey, December 30, 2001
This book needs to be read especially now by all muslims of the world. Obviously, the muslim world has to change, strip itself from Islamic zealotry which interferes with every aspect of life, from education to justice. The first attempt to do this occured in the Ottoman Empire. The book is the story of the first modernization movement in the moslem world: its challenges, obstructions and results.
The reformists in the empire realize that religion and social institutions have to be separated since this was what Westerners had done. The reformists want to teach contemporary science in schools but here the challenge comes. No! everything is in Kur'an so we don't need to know that so-called science. Reformists attempt to outlaw polygamy but the same challenge comes. No! It accords with Islam. By and large, from the 18th century to the 20th modernization movement in Turkey faced this kind of challenges by clergy. Islam has been a religion that interferes with every aspects of life, every social institution so that it was necessary to separate religion and social institutions (secularism). Defeats of the empire to Russians and the West necessiated these reforms and despite the challenges, inch by inch Turkish instituions were secularized.
Today's Turkey, despite its flaws in democracy and economy, stands out as the most democratic and industrialized muslim country and a serious regional power. There are lessons to be taken from the Turkish experience of secularization and modernization for all muslim countries. And this book is an excellent start off.

Chronicles of the Crusades (Penguin Classics)
Chronicles of the Crusades (Penguin Classics)
by Jean de Joinville
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.13
229 used & new from $0.01

14 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Diary, September 7, 2001
All historians recorded what happened in the past deserve thanks. The authors of this book deserve the same. I said authors since there are accounts two different crusaders in this book. One describes events right before, during and right after the conquest of Constantinople by the crusaders. The other describes the 6th and the 7th crusades especially concentrating on St Louis the king of France who took the cross.
The book deserves 4 stars since there is not many info regarding social, economic, and cultural life of the people. Its more like keeping a voyage journal. There is some interesting piece of knowledge as well. It is still worth reading though.

The Alexiad of Anna Comnena (The Penguin Classics)
The Alexiad of Anna Comnena (The Penguin Classics)
by Anna Comnena
Edition: Paperback
51 used & new from $1.57

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Anna, September 7, 2001
Anna Comnena talks about her father's glorious administration of the Byzantine Empire in 1100's in this book. Thanks to her, we know what happened in those years in the Near East.
The book is especially important for those interested in the conquest (or invasion) of Anatolia by the Turks and the subsequent Islamization process of it. She gives first-hand information on the nature of Turkic conquest and its effects on Hellen and Armenio-Syriac Anatolia.
The book is also important for various reasons such as history of Byzantine Empire, Celtic, and Norman wars, the first Crusade.

Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State
Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State
by Cemal Kafadar
Edition: Paperback
Price: $31.95
49 used & new from $8.53

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sophisticated Book, July 20, 2001
Reading this book requires quite a background on the theses of the foundation of the Ottoman Empire. The author questions the accounts about the nature of the early Ottoman state. Did it consist of tribal Turks (extension of Seljuks) with the purpose of propagating Islam as asserted by Koprulu or were they heteredox gazis cooperating with Christian Byzantine locals as asserted by Wittek? Or were they just plunderers as claimed by a couple of Greek historians? Kafadar is very analytical. It is quite stimulating to read his logical deductions where historical data are not available. He seems to reach a synthesis closer to Wittek but not quite Wittek though. It seems more like Lindner who revised Wittek's argument in 1980's. Kafadar further discusses how the centralization of the Ottoman administration during the early 15th century eliminated the gaza spirit over time. The book is analytic and presents interesting facts and possibilites such as the real name (or the second name) of Osman.
The only drag is the abbreviations. For example, the author uses Apz for Asikpasazade or OE for Ottoman Empire throughout the text.
It is very well worth reading if you are interested in the nature of early Ottomans.

Pan-Turkism: From Irredentism to Cooperation
Pan-Turkism: From Irredentism to Cooperation
by Jacob M. Landau
Edition: Paperback
45 used & new from $1.62

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars History of Pan-Turkist Journals, July 20, 2001
Reading this book was kind of disappointing. It's rather a rewiev of Pan-Turkist journals and magazines published thoroughout the history. The beginning of the book gives some facts about the origin of Pan-Turkism. The section about the flirtation of Pan-Turkists in Turkey (largely in the army) and the Nazis during the II.World War also presents some facts. The rest of the book is about which Pan-Turkist magazine was published by who and when and how long. If you'd like to know about Pan-Turkism, there are better books such as Top Hat, Gray Wolf, and the Crescent. If you don't have anything to read and if you are interested in the history of Turkey then you may want to read it.

Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East
Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East
by David Fromkin
Edition: Paperback
127 used & new from $0.01

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Book, July 20, 2001
If you're interested in knowing how today's Middle East emerged, this is the book to buy. Not only is it for newcomers, but also for those who have some background. The book is about the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire by the Great Powers during the I.World War. The book could be separated into two parts: Before the war and after the war. Before and during the war allied countries share the lands of the empire. There are promises given to each other and given to native people of the Middle East such as Jews and Arabs. Britain, and France are the victors. But now there are betrayals and lies after the war. There are politicians ready to integrate the Middle East into their colonization empire but there are also politicians of the Middle East whom are underestimated by the great powers but in fact better in politics by playing off one power to another. At the end, soldiers like Mustafa Kemal (later to-be Ataturk) and tribe leaders like Feisal become presidents and prime ministers by coming to terms with the Great powers but at the expense of some people such as Palestinians or Syrians or Iraqies. The book is brilliantly written narrative history of the Middle East. You can't stop reading. Fromkin is also very analytic writer and this makes the book more valuable. He doesn't just present the facts. He questions them, make deductions, guesses. If a historian is analytic in his book, then you will find new and interesting new facts, possibilities too. Fromkin thanks to his analytic thinking, tells us about how Enver Pasha duped Germans before entering the war,for instance. He also argues that the pact signed between the Ottoman and German Empires in 1914 does not mean a declaration of war. There are interesting insights about the entry of the Ottoman Empire to the war. There are more interesting ideas, but these are the things I remember now. It is absolutely worth reading.

by Andrew Mango
Edition: Hardcover
49 used & new from $5.98

23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ATATURK: EVIL OR GOOD?, April 19, 2000
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This review is from: Ataturk (Hardcover)
Finally...I've been waiting for this book to come out since1997 when I first read a review of this book. I already knew whoAndrew Mango was since I'd read several articles of him. I was waitingsince I'd had the belief that he was an objective historian. In that review Mango was saying that the book may disappoint the Turkish Government and people a little bit. I purchased the book and read immediately. Yes he is objective. He successfully points to some facts such as how the elimination of Armenian citizens deprived the country of her talented cratfsmen and merchants or to some other facts such as the misdeeds of the anti-minority policy during and after Ataturk. He calls the 1915 Armenian deportation an ethnic cleansing. This and similar books will help the young Turkish generation of Turkey strip themselves of hypnotizing government policy hopefully. On the other hand I think there are some flaws, such as he claims that the apologestics of Vahideddin (the Sultan) propose that the Sultan ordered M.Kemal to go to Anatolia. In fact Falih Rifki Atay, who was a Kemalist, mentions about the historical meeting between Vahdeddin and M.Kemal in his book "Cankaya" which included many memoirs of Ataturk. This book is another help for Turkish youth to think different and not to repeat the misdeeds of the Young Turks and their successors from CUP (Ittihat ve Terakki) to today's Turkish Government. I recommend it enthusiastically to all interested readers.

The Top Hat, the Grey Wolf, and the Crescent: Turkish Nationalism and the Turkish Republic
The Top Hat, the Grey Wolf, and the Crescent: Turkish Nationalism and the Turkish Republic
by Hugh Poulton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $75.55
27 used & new from $61.89

10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRUE STORY OF KEMALISM AND THE TURKISH REPUBLIC, January 2, 2000
Appearence falsifies us easily. This is true for M.Kemal Ataturk and the Turkish Republic which is founded on his principles. Contrary to common beliefs, almost nothing has changed in Anatolia in the last century. This book tells all. This book is like one of the secret books of Aristoteles that had been hidden from eyes in the Medieval times to prevent the collapse of the Christendom. Similarly this book has lots of facts that are criticizing the fundamentals of the Turkish Republic. Like what? The books tells how other languages were suppressed by Ataturk in Anatolia. The book tells how Ataturk and other prominent leaders enjoyed chovenist ideas. The book tells how the leaders of the country tried to bargain with Hitler to gain territories in the East. The book tells how the minorities have been oppressed. When you read it you will realize that nothing has changed with the Turkish Republic in Anatolia. The revolutions that were brought up were superficial and some of them were oppressive tough. The book tells all with plenty of solid evidence from governmental telegrams, newspapers, the leaders' own speeches etc. This book has a potential to pull away the curtain on your eyes. All you have to do is read.

Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924
Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924
by Philip Mansel
Edition: Paperback
37 used & new from $1.71

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The book starts off telling the story from the very beginning of the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Empire in 1453. Surprisingly the muslim sultan, Mehmet the II protects the multicultural structure of the city. In fact he improves it. In a short time the city grows up with dozens of different ethnic groups. Each citizen was speaking at least three languages on the street of the Constantinople. Even though the empire was sinking in the 19th century at least a dozen of newspapers were being published in ten different languages. This magnificency unfortunately goes down deeper and deeper as the empire goes down more. That harmony leaves itself to mutual massacres. With the establishment of the Turkish Republic minorities are expelled and the city that hosted dozens of ethnic groups as a capital city dies off with the declaration of Ankara as a new capital city. Constantinople becomes Istanbul. Tough it remains as the biggest city of Asia Minor, now it is too far from her multicultural, multicolorful days. The book tells the tragic story of a big city with interesting historical information as well. A must to buy.

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