Prisoners of Ourselves: Totalitarianism in Everyday Life
By Gündüz Y. H. Vassaf
İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2011, 275 pages,
Turkey and the Dilemma of EU Accession
By Mirela Bogdani
London and New York: I. B. Tauris & Co., 2011,
234 pages, ISBN 9781848854598.
Towards a Social History of Modern Turkey: Essays in Theory and Practice
Edited by Gavin D. Brockett
İstanbul: Libra Kitapçılık ve Yayıncılık, 2011,
184 pages, ISBN 9786054326426.
Although written from a variety of perspectives at different points in history, all three books reviewed here offer penetrating insights into Turkish politics past and present, as well as commenting on how they are interpreted both inside and outside the country.
Written in English, while he was guest professor at the University of Marburg, Germany (having quit his post at Boğaziçi University in protest at the law curtailing academic freedom), Gündüz Vassaf’s Prisoners of Ourselves comprises a series of meditations mostly written between October 1986 and March 1987. His basic thesis is straightforward enough: although human beings consider themselves members of the free world, they are actually subject to totalitarian rule.