Interview with Australian Jane Gundogan author of Salep and Ginger

Interview with Australian Jane Gundogan author of Salep and Ginger

I’m excited to share my interview with Jane Gundogan. Jane Gundogan is an author and in her own words, “also a part-time comedian (in her own mind), half-assed blogger and a totally committed vinophile”. Most importantly, she’s the person behind Salep and Ginger, a novel set in Turkey (see my review here) and the only…

Coronavirus Turkey – Winning the war by not fighting battles

Coronavirus Turkey – Winning the war by not fighting battles

Embracing uncertainty and community in the time of Coronavirus Turkey officially announced its first recorded case of Coronavirus late on March 10, 2020. The next day the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. From the beginning many countries, their politicians and their media have framed the pandemic in combative terms, using the idea that…

Coronavirus Turkey  What community looks like in daily life
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Coronavirus Turkey What community looks like in daily life

I’m an Australian living in Istanbul and like many people here in Coronavirus Turkey, daily life is very different. I haven’t been out other than to buy food since March 14. Every day I read the contradictory medical reports about the Coronavirus on the news, see the rise in infections and deaths and like everyone,…

Raimondo D’Aronco – an Italian Architect in Istanbul
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Raimondo D’Aronco – an Italian Architect in Istanbul

Just before the December rains set in I took advantage of Istanbul’s blue sunny skies to go exploring. My aim was to find works by Raimondo D’Aronco, an Italian architect responsible for bringing Art Nouveau architecture to the city. Raimondo D’Aronco was born in Gemona del Friuli (by coincidence part of the district where my…

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Safak

Until now I haven’t been a fan of Elif Safak’s writing. I found her early novels (The Bastard of Istanbul  and The Flea Palace) disjointed and in the case of the latter, more like a collection of vignettes than a work of narrative fiction. However since reading The Three Daughters of Eve and most recently…

Orhan Veli Kanik – an innovative Turkish poet

Everyone hopes their children and grandchildren go on to bigger and better things, but it’s unlikely Orhan Veli Kanik’s grandfathers expected their grandson would become a poet. They were both traders and yet they were exactly the people Veli had in mind when he created a new style of Turkish poetry directed at the people….

Multicultural Turkey: Strength in Diversity
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Multicultural Turkey: Strength in Diversity

When Atatürk uttered the words “Ne mutlu Türküm diyene!” meaning “How happy is the one who calls themselves a Turk!” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Turkish Republic in 1933, he wanted to promote unity. Although the majority of Turks are and have always been Sunni Muslims, they can also be Alevi, Bektaşi or…