Book Review: Turkey: What Everyone Needs to Know by Andrew Finkel
By Lou Novacheck, BLOGCRITICS.ORG
Published 07:28 a.m., Sunday, April 22, 2012
Turkey is one of the most studied countries in the world. It's also one of the least understood.
All countries and cities are unique, of course, although many fit into the same general mold. A few cities around the world are even in a class of their own. But there's one country, and one city, that own their own genre. Only one city has been called the Crossroads of the World with no exaggeration and no hyperbole. You can find the footprints of Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Tamerlane, and the Apostle Paul in these environs.
Turkey also has the distinction of a city that straddles two continents. At various times Istanbul has been called Stamboul, Constantinople, The Pearl of the Orient, the Queen of Cities, Byzantium, Augusta Antonina, Byzantion, Lygos, New Rome, Kostantiniyye, or simply the City. These names reflect the national origins, which also reflect the ethnic makeup, of the people who call themselves Turks. While most Turks are brunettes, you'll also see redheads and natural blondes. Turkey was old before the Native Americans came to what's now North America. Wrap your head around that one!
Turkey is more a region (or a small continent, as the author states) than a country. It's a region comprised of a number of different peoples: Armenians, Assyrians, Georgians, Greeks, Hittites, Kurds, Lydians, Mamluks, Ottomans, Persians, Phrygians, Romans, and Seljuk Turks, to name a few.....Continues