Crescent and Star Turkey Between Two Worlds

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 9/16/2008
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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"A sharp, spirited appreciation of where Turkey stands now, and where it may head." --Carlin Romano,ThePhiladelphiaInquirer In the first edition of this widely praised book, Stephen Kinzer made the convincing claim that Turkey was the country to watch--poised between Europe and Asia, between the glories of its Ottoman past and its hopes for a democratic future, between the dominance of its army and the needs of its civilian citizens, between its secular expectations and its Muslim traditions. In this newly revised edition, he adds much important new information on the many exciting transformations in Turkey's government and politics that have kept it in the headlines, and also shows how recent developments in both American and European policies (and not only the war in Iraq) have affected this unique and perplexing nation. Stephen Kinzeris a veteran foreign correspondent who has covered more than fifty countries on four continents. In 1996 he became the firstNew York Timesbureau chief in Istanbul; he is now that paper's national culture correspondent, based in Chicago. He is the author ofBlood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaraguaand co-author, with Stephen Schlesinger, ofBitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. InCrescent and Star, Stephen Kinzer offers a report on Turkey today. He traces its development into a modern state and explains the great dilemmas it now faces. Turkey is poised between Europe and Asia, caught between the glories of its Ottoman past and its hopes for a democratic future, between the traditional power of its army and the needs of its impatient citizens, between Muslim traditions and secular expectations. Will Turkey continue to hide behind its fears, remaining only half-free and fulfilling only half its great potential, or will it yield to the pressure of a new generation and become a powerful and prosperous democracy? Kinzer spent years working and living in Turkey, and he was captivated by its many delights. He describes the pleasures of smoking water pipes, searching for the ruins of lost civilizations, watching camel fights, discovering the country's greatest poet, swimming across the fabled Bosphorus and even hosting a blues program on an Istanbul radio station. He takes us from elegant city cafes to wild mountain outposts on Turkey's eastern border, talking along the way to dissidents and patriots, villagers and cabinet ministers. He reports on political trials and on his own arrest by Turkish soldiers when he was trying to uncover secrets about the army's campaign against Kurdish guerrillas. And he explores the nation's drive to join the European Union, the human-rights abuses that have kept it out and its difficult relations with Kurds, Armenians and Greeks. Will this vibrant country, Kinzer asks, become the world's first Islamic democracy?Crescent and Starmakes clear why Turkey might--or might not--become "the most audaciously successful nation of the twenty-first century." "An intriguing portrait of a pivotal nation in historic transition."Robert D. Kaplan, author ofBalkan Ghosts "Kinzer gives an unusally candid account of the state of Turkish politics and the army's role . . . [He] writes in detail about how, in the name of national unity, the army has ruthlessly suppressed Kurdish demands for autonomy . . . He is right to see that the heart of the Turkish problem is an anachronistic nationalism."--Ira M. Lapidus,The New York Times "A powerful, directed, and important book . . .Crescent and Staramounts to an impressive achievement with a high potential to make a difference."--Middle East Quarterly "Kinzer,

Author Biography

Stephen Kinzer was Istanbul bureau chief for The New York Times from 1996 to 2000. He is the author of many books, including All the Shah's Men and Overthrow. He lives in Chicago.

Table of Contents

“An unusually candid account of the state of Turkish politics . . . [Kinzer] is lyrical, even romantic, about the potential of a forceful, creative and (mostly) free people to realize their own implied glorious future.” —Ira M. Lapidus, The New York Times

“Turkey matters greatly to us, given its crucial role both in Europe and in the Middle East, and this vivid book, both personal and analytical, is the best recent work on the subject.” —Richard D. Holbrooke

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