4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It does what it says on the cover!,
This review is from: The Turkish Labyrinth (Paperback)
Pettifer provides an accurate lucid description of modern day Turkey and the problems and issues facing it. The book is written in a easy to read style which makes it difficult to put the book down. The title is a little misleading in that the book deals with many more subjects than Ataturk and the challenge of a revitalised and dynamic islam.
As a Turk who has visited Turkey on many occasions as well as keeping a small holiday villa, I find his descriptions and analysis almost perfect. The nationalist nature of Turkey makes it difficult for Turks to realise their short-comings, but Pettifer outlines them diplomatically. His description of how non-turkishness of the Kurds and Laz is oppressed and suppressed is depressing but true; although a Turk's instincts is to deny it. However, if a Turkish coach driver can be sentenced to 3 years in prison for playing Kurdish music on his coach then it cannot be denied.
The description of Zonguldak and the poverty experienced by migrants to Istanbul are vivid accounts which illustrate the socio-economic problems which Turkey faces. The analysis of the diplomatic issues facing Turkey are also very informative.
Finally, the bibliography is extensive and show the amount of research put into the book. There were a few demeaning comments regarding Ataturk but he details the love and loyalty the ordinary Turk has for him...although he admits that it is incalcated by crude brain-washing. It is positive in that it show that Islam, democracy and Turkishness are inseparable. It shows that the definition of secular needs to be updated from the 1930's to the modern day. It is a positive non-racist book.
Overall, it is a book worth having on ones bookshelf.