As an avid reader of cyberpunk and a former resident of Istanbul, I was sure that I would enjoy The Dervish House. And I did, in the beginning. Then the mistakes started piling up and finally the inconsistencies and lack of credible detail has ruined this book for me.
Dedicating pages in the beginning of the book to Turkish pronunciation is all well and good but there were spelling mistakes in at least half of the Turkish words and names used in this book - For example, it's Aslantepe not "Aslanteppe", Hacettepe not "Haceteppe", Osmanli not "Ösmanli", Meryem Ana Firtinasi not "Firtanisi" as it was repeatedly misspelled, meaning "Tempest of Mother Mary" and definitely not "Wind of September" especially since it happens in mid-October.
Characters don't feel authentic, not least because they say things like "I will see you when I see you" that are impossible to say in Turkish in any meaningful way, they serve pistachios with coffee (always served with alcohol, never with coffee) and they refer to each other by their last names, which NEVER happens in Turkey. Turks didn't even have surnames prior to 1934. It is pretty obvious that the author doesn't know this - Haci Ferhat's descendant is called Beshun Ferhat, which is highly unlikely given that "Ferhat" was his given name and Haci was an honorific title meaning "Muslim who has done the Hajj to Mecca".
There were so many things that didn't ring true, and one was Adnan speaking in English with a trader from Baku in Azerbaijan, saying the other guy just didn't speak good English. Why on earth would these two people struggle with English over the phone anyway, given that they both speak Turkish?!
All of the above to one side, my personal favourite which truly shows the author's ignorance about Turks and Turkish is when Mr Ferentinou says to Can "You said 'he'. Interesting that we assume robots are male". Highly unlikely that Can would or could ever say such a thing, since THERE IS NO "HE" OR "SHE" IN THE TURKISH LANGUAGE. This just made me laugh :-)
In short, The Dervish House would have been a pretty awesome book if it were set in a city author is actually familiar with, with characters he understands, who talk in a language he knows. Honestly, I think Mr McDonald should write about Belfast, where he lives, and leave places like Istanbul to those who know them a bit better.