Good books about Turkey

Add to your library on Turkey!There are many good books about Turkey, and after reading most of them (and writing one or three of them), here are some I’d like to recommend. Happy reading!


  • Turkish Letters – Ogier De Busbecq
  • Turkish Embassy Letters – Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
  • Exploring Turkish Landscapes– Lisa Morrow
  • Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom – Lisa Morrow
  • Portrait of a Turkish Family – Irfan Orga
  • The Caravan Moves On – Ifran Orga
  • Istanbul: Memories & the City – Orhan Pamuk
  • Turkey Street: Jack and Liam move to Bodrum – Jack Scott*


  • A Mind at Peace – Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar
  • Aziyade – Pierre Loti
  • Birds Without Wings – Louis de Bernieres
  • Bliss – O Z Livaneli
  • Ward 72 – Orhan Kemal
  • The Black Book – Orhan Pamuk
  • They Burn the Thistles – Yashar Kemal
  • The Pull of It – Wendy Fox*
  • The Wind From the Plain – Yashar Kemal
  • anything by Barbara Nadel

Culture, Society & History and more

  • Goodbye to the Fez – Barbro Karabuda
  • Fragments of Culture – ed. by D Kandiyoti & A Saktanber
  • Crescent & Star – Stephen Kinzer
  • A Village in Anatolia – Mahmut Makal
  • The Turks Today – Andrew Mango
  • Turkey – Culture Smart – Charlotte McPherson*
  • Inside Out In Istanbul – Lisa Morrow
  • The Harem: The World behind the Veil – Alev Lyle Croutier
  • The Turkish Labyrinth – James Pettifer
  • A Fez of the Heart – Jeremy Seal
  • Strolling through Istanbul – Hilary Sumner-Boyd & John Freely
  • Turkish Cinema – Gonul Donmez-Colin
  • A Short History of Byzantium – John Julius Norwich

* Reviews for items marked with an asterisk can be found on the Book Reviews page of this site.

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About Goreme1990

I’m Lisa Morrow, the person behind I was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up a leafy middle class North Shore suburb. After finishing high school I went to Sydney University but failed to find my niche. After working as a public servant, cleaner, sales assistant, waitress, bar maid and car counter, I went overseas. Once there I hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. My three months stay in the small central Anatolian village of Göreme changed my life. On my return to Australia I earned a BA Honours Degree in Sociology from Macquarie University. An academic career beckoned but the call to travel was louder. After several false starts I moved to Turkey and lived there for ten years. In 2017 I moved to Lisbon, Portugal, but continue to travel regularly to Istanbul. In addition to my blog I've written a travel narrative memoir called "Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom: Adrift in Istanbul" and two collections of essays, "Inside Out In Istanbul: Making Sense of the City" and "Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries". I have a regular segment on San Francisco Turkish radio and in early 2017 I released an audio walking tour called "Stepping back through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk", through VoiceMap. In addition I write for various international and Australian magazines and websites, as well as for this blog. A full list of my published articles, with links, can be found on the Writing on Turkey and Writing Beyond Turkey pages.
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One Response to Good books about Turkey

  1. Soberana says:

    I think you don’t have any female authors on your list. I would include Elif Safak’s books which reflect life in Turkey mostly Istanbul.

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