By Andrew Finkel

Turkey occupies a strategic place in ultra-modern global: the single predominantly Muslim country to be a member of NATO and an best friend of Israel, it straddles either Europe and Asia. Turkey is the hyperlink among Islam and Western democracy, among Europe and the center East. during this concise creation, Andrew Finkel, who has spent two decades in Turkey writing in regards to the state for guides reminiscent of The Economist and Time journal, unravels Turkey's complexities. He units the issues and ameliorations of present-day Turkey opposed to the old historical past of the Ottoman Empire, the secular nationalist revolution led through Kemal Atatürk, and repeated political interventions via the army, which sees itself because the parent of Atatürk's legacy. Finkel unearths a kingdom filled with surprises. the place else yet in Turkey, Finkel writes, could secularist liberals have supported a main minister who used to be jailed for selling spiritual extremism? From the Kurdish query to financial coverage, from Turkey's function in Iraq to its quest for ecu club, Finkel illuminates the previous and current of this designated, and uniquely consequential, nation in Turkey: What everybody wishes to Know®.

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Knows only too well. What are the regions of Turkey? Turks are bemused by foreigners who think that because the country borders the Middle East, it ought to be covered in sand dunes. The Iraqi-Turkish frontier (219 miles in length) consists of high mountains and in winter is covered in snow. That border is a thousand miles away from Istanbul, an inland journey of great contrasts across rolling hills, high peaks, barren plateaus, and fertile basins. Turkey occupies a landmass slightly larger than Texas (783,632 square kilometers, just over 300,000 square miles) and is over three times the size of the United Kingdom.

4. Central Anatolia, the conservative heartland with the major cities of Kayseri and Konya as well the capital Ankara. 5. The Black Sea Coastal Region, a land of corn, tea, hazelnuts, and fresh anchovies that contains some of Turkey’s most dramatic mountain scenery 6. Eastern Anatolia, the poorest part of the country (bordered by Iran and Armenia) that is largely Kurdish. 7. Southeastern Anatolia, a region bordering Syria and Iraq and dissected by both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It contains Diyarbakir, the unofficial Kurdish capital of Turkey, as well as the prosperous cities of Urfa (with a substantial Arab population) and Gaziantep.

One of the great debates that raged in Ankara and in the courts was whether the religiously conservative city administrators could change its symbol from a Hittite-inspired sun to a more Islamic motif. In the end, the city settled on a value-neutral logo based on the Ankara cat, which has one eye blue and the other yellow. In 2010 Istanbul was designated a “European Capital of Culture” to promote its integration with the European Union. Much of the budget was used for the maintenance of historically important mosques.

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