Ece Temelkuran


“Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy(published in German last year and to be published in several languages), Temelkuran walks us along a hazardous, unsanctioned route from modern Turkey’s founding in 1923, its history of military coups to the agenda and modus operandi of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Along the road she astutely unpicks politically-led tendencies that resonate globally, including a cultural rejection of learning and expertise, and the construction of the Other as a source of fear. With more than 300 people killed and at least 6,000 detained in Turkey following the failed coup on 15 July, her no-punches-pulled analysis and resonant anecdotes read like an essential primer for interpreting the next chapter in the country’s unfolding history.”
Hettie Judah, Frieze magazine.

ece temelkuran


“Turkey is a nation of contradictions and contrasts. Though considered democratic, the Erdogan government has increasingly begun to resemble a dictatorship, jailing it opponents and violently suppressing dissent. And though Turkey is notionally secular, the Justice and Development Party’s power has fed the creeping influence of religious conservatism, with figures in the party denouncing abortion rights and attempting to criminalize adultery. Having long occupied an uneasy middle ground between a secular West and Islamic East, Turkey has been drawn into the conflicts of its neighbors, including the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war, and the rise of ISIS. In this fascinating portrait of a nation in turmoil, the renowned Turkish journalist and novelist Ece Temelkuran provides a vivid and deeply personal account of the crisis afflicting modern Turkey.”


“Temelkuran identifies a long-running culture of repression and authoritarianism that has plagued Turkey throughout its history, a culture she traces back to the fall of the Ottomans and the continued climate of denial around the Armenian genocide. But, she firmly believes there is still a strong voice of dissent in Turkey, and she argues that the Gezi Park protests of 2013 represented a glimmer of hope that has not yet been fully extinguished and may still grow to rejuvenate democracy in the country. Providing unique insight into Turkey’s ongoing political turmoil, this is a timely look at a country that is caught at the center of many of the changes and much of the turmoil of the Middle East today.”


“Temelkuran has written a primer for today’s chaos, a masterclass in expecting the unexpected.”

Financial Times

A wonderful book that gives a fascinating if frightening insight into the reasons why Turkey is becoming an authoritarian state. It gives an engrossing and intimate sense of the impact this development has on every aspect of life.’

Patrick Cockburn author of The Rise of Islamic State

‘Ece Temelkuran is a patriot – no other word will do.’

Seymour Hersh author of The Killing of Osama Bin Laden

‘What a brave woman! And what a fine, stylish and intelligent writer! Mixing sarcasm, anger, wit, and irony as well as hard facts, Ece Temelkuran has provided us with an informative and moving account of Turkey’s seemingly inexorable drift into authoritarianism.’

Donald Sassoon author of The Culture of the Europeans