Carian Turkey: Book Suggestions

Here are some suggestions for books, biographies, and travel guides should you wish to read up on Turkey, Turkish history and the region of Caria, its archaeology and more before your trips. 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)’

Ancient Caria

Turkey Beyond the Maeander (USA) George E Bean – the definitive archaeological guide to the region, but rather dry.

Alexander’s Path: from Caria to Cilicia (USA) Freya Stark – a look at the area in the 50’s in the footsteps of Alexander.

The Western Shores of Turkey (USA) John Freely – authoritative & informative guide, following in Bean’s footsteps.

South from Ephesus: Travels in Turkey (USA) Brian Sewell – classic, self-indulgent travelogue.

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.

Constantinople: City of the World’s Desire 1453-1924 (USA) Philip Mansel – is a colourful, informative and truly great read.

A Hedonist’s guide to…Istanbul (USA) Nick Hackworth – a fanstastic insider’s guide for sophisticated travellers.

Istanbul: the Imperial City (USA) John Freely – is a fascinating broad-brush biography of one of the world’s greatest cities.

Strolling Through Istanbul: The Classic Guide to the City (USA) John Freely and Hilary Sumner-Boyd – is an excellent read.

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.

Ancient Turkey

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.

Kingdoms of Ruin: The Art and Architectural Splendours of Ancient Turkey (USA)Jeremy Stafford-Deitsch – is a gorgeous photographic record of the landscapes and ancient sites of Turkey.

Ancient History

Greek History (USA) Robin Osborne – is the best short introduction to the history of Ancient Greece.

History of Rome (USA) Marcel Le Glay, Jean-Louis Voisin, Yann Le Bohec, David Cherry, Donald G. Kyle (4th edition) – It’s difficult to write a single authoritative book covering such a long period and geographical range, but the authors have done a great job with this.

Constructing the Ancient World: Architectural Techniques of the Greeks and Romans (USA) Carmelo Malacrino – is a good introduction to the engineering skills and prowess that we will be marvelling at on this tour.

Byzantine History

A Concise History of Byzantium 285-1461 (USA) Warren Treadgold – is an accessible and concise introduction to the Byzantine Empire.

Byzantium: the Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire (USA) Judith Herrin – is a good thematic introduction to the Byzantine world.

Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (USA) Richard Krautheimer – is a decent guide to this subject.

Byzantine Art (USA) Robin Cormack – a descriptive and analytical discourse on this complex and interesting subject.

Ottoman History

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.

Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire (new edition 2008) (USA)Jason Goodwin – is a beautifully written book that attempts to go beyond traditional history to provide an insight into the culture and atmosphere of the Ottoman world.

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.

Ataturk (USA) Andrew Mango – is the best biography of the founder of the Turkish state that is currently in print.

Sultan’s Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook (USA) Özcan Ozan – is a sumptuous illustrated introduction to Turkish recipes.

Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey (USA) Anastasia Ashman and Jennifer Gökmen – is a riveting look at life in modern Turkey from the perspective of expatriate women.

A Fez of the heart: Travels through Turkey in Search of a Hat (USA) Jeremy Seal – is a witty portrait of modern Turkey.

Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey (USA) Nicole Pope & Hugh Pope – a picture of 20th-century Turkey and its formative past.

The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia (10,000-323 BCE) (USA) Sharon R Steadman & Gregory McMahon – comprehensive overviews on archaeological, philological, linguistic, and historical issues at the forefront of Anatolian scholarship in the 21st century.

Turkey Guidebooks

Turkey Lonely Planet 2009 (USA)

The Rough Guide to Turkey 2010 (USA)

Turkey (Eyewitness Travel Guides) 2010 (USA)

Frommer’s Turkey 2010 (USA)

Turkey Novels and Literature

Memed, My Hawk (USA) Yashar Kemal – a wonderful novel by one of Turkey’s finest writers.

Orhan Pamuk is currently the most celebrated Turkish novelist, and his prose offers an intense and somewhat dark perspective on Turkey, its people and their history. Why not try one of his recent ‘classics’ such as My Name is Red (USA) or The Black Book (USA)

Birds without Wings (USA) Louis de Bernieres – is a dramatization of events in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire in a village, Kayakoy, which we pass on our Lycian tours.

Meander: East to West along a Turkish River (USA) Jeremy Seal – A scenic look at turkish history while traveling the length of the Meander river alone by canoe.

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