Here are some suggestions for books, biographies, and travel guides should you wish to read up on Turkey, Turkish history, and the region’s archaeology before your cultural tour. The books are in no particular recommended order. This list of books is not required reading!
UK visitors interested in purchasing these books, may click on the main title. US visitors wishing to buy, please click on ‘(USA)’
Byzantium / Constantinople / Istanbul
The Blue Guide: Istanbul is the best guidebook to Istanbul, and is filled with concise information about all the visible historical monuments of every period.
Istanbul: the Imperial City (USA) John Freely – is a fascinating broad-brush biography of one of the world’s greatest cities.
Istanbul: The Collected Traveller An Inspired Companion Guide (USA) Barrie Kerper – A unique guide combining fascinating articles from a wide range of writers, woven together with the editor’s own brilliant advice and opinions.
A Traveller’s History of Turkey (USA) Richard Stoneman – is a good overview of Turkish history from prehistoric times to the present day.
Ancient Turkey: A Traveller’s History (USA) Seton Lloyd – is a classic account of Turkish history from Prehistory to Christianity.
A Concise History of Byzantium 285-1461 (USA) Warren Treadgold – is an accessible and concise introduction to the Byzantine Empire.
Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire (USA) Caroline Finkel – is a clear historical account by a distinguished Ottoman scholar and Istanbul resident.
Modern History and General Turkey Books
Sons of the Conquerors: the Rise of the Turkic World (USA) Hugh Pope – covers all corners of the modern Turkish world with verve and style.
Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds (USA) Stephen Kinzer – is a fascinating look at Turkey now and tomorrow.
Turkey Lonely Planet 2011 (USA)
The Rough Guide to Turkey 2010 (USA)
Turkey (Eyewitness Travel Guides) 2010 (USA)
Books on Alexander the Great
Alexander’s Path: from Caria to Cilicia (USA) Freya Stark – a look at the area in the 50’s in the footsteps of Alexander.
Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past (USA) Paul Cartledge – Probably the best of the recent books, an up to date biog.
Ancient Ionia and Caria
Turkey Beyond the Maeander (USA) George E Bean – the definitive archaeological guide to the region, but rather dry.
The Western Shores of Turkey (USA) John Freely – authoritative and informative guide, following in Bean’s footsteps.
Lycian Turkey (USA) George E Bean – Covering the Lycian coast as far as Antalya, Bean is the definitive archaeological guide to the region.
Turkish Food and Cooking
Sultan’s Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook (USA) Özcan Ozan – is a sumptuous illustrated introduction to Turkish recipes.
The Food and Cooking of Turkey (USA) Ghille Basan.
World Food: Turkey Lonely Planet (USA) Dani Valent et al – a great little guide to Turkey’s taste sensations.