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Turkey: A Short History

Early on in this slim account of 1,300 years’ of Turkish history, Norman Stone suggests: “If you are Turkish you have to ask what you owe to: (1) the ancient native Turkish tradition; (2) Persia; (3) Byzantium; (4) Islam; (5) what sort of Islam; and (6) conscious westernization.” It would be far-fetched to imagine that every modern Turk self-consciously ratiocinate these things and comes up with their own credit-debit account of historical heritage. This book’s major strength, however, is to demonstrate the lesser-appreciated continuities—as well as sudden changes—that do make up so much of Turkish history.

Early on in this slim account of 1,300 years’ of Turkish history, Norman Stone suggests: “If you are Turkish you have to ask what you owe to: (1) the ancient native Turkish tradition; (2) Persia; (3) Byzantium; (4) Islam; (5) what sort of Islam; and (6) conscious westernization.” It would be far-fetched to imagine that every modern Turk self-consciously ratiocinate these things and comes up with their own credit-debit account of historical heritage. This book’s major strength, however, is to demonstrate the lesser-appreciated continuities—as well as sudden changes—that do make up so much of Turkish history.

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Call for Paper | Politics of the Balkans and Future Perspectives