Among all the foods in Istanbul’s giant foodscape, perhaps the one with the most complicated and long history and provenance is boza.
Within Kurdish politics in Turkey, there is an emerging style of right-wing discourse. No longer content to be a silent partner of the governing Turkish right-wing coalition, the new Kurdish right defines itself in opposition to both the Turkish state and the PKK’s left-liberation mythos.
The 1940s and ’50s were a golden age for Turkish travel writing. These were boom years for the Turkish publishing industry, and visitors invariably wrote up their experiences in books and newspaper columns with titles like “Letters from America,” satisfying a hungry audience.
Demonstrating political affiliation is just one aspect of Turkish names. Names tell the whole story of the country’s complex society. When you look at Turkish names, it opens up all of the different dynamics of history, societal cleavages, understandings of class and gender, and political expectations.
Roula Roukbi is among the few Damascus socialites who created an alternative space for art, culture, and some politics in the city. She excelled at living as if Syria was a free country, and in many respects, her hotel came to embody a microcosm of what freedom might one day look like.
Food nationalism started with the formation of nation states and the breakup of empires in recent centuries. Cuisine, like political borders, became an effective tool for marking new distinctions, used by chauvinists and genocidaires as a weapon.
Sea shanties provided solace and strength for sailors on merchant ships across the world. Until well into the 20th century, their haunting melodies were sung by Gulf sailors all across the Indian Ocean. Today, they are being rediscovered and adapted as a modern form of cultural expression.