We passed 10 firetrucks and other groups in helmets, some in bikinis and without masks. Half of us stayed put, and the other half rushed to help tug at a hose that slithered up a dirt slope and to deliver water bottles to those up there working.
For Turkey, maintaining a constant state of exception requires the continual production of enemies — and glossy spy thrillers like “Teşkilat” are convenient opportunities to engrave those enemies in the public’s imagination.
Among all the foods in Istanbul’s giant foodscape, perhaps the one with the most complicated and long history and provenance is boza.
The key to understanding liberalism’s consistent presence at the core of otherwise illiberal governance in Turkey lies in the history of another word, muhalefet. It’s the word at the center of Christine M. Philliou’s brilliant new book.
Before 2011, Reyhanli had about 90,000 inhabitants. Ten years later, the figure is almost 250,000. The new residents from the south are so numerous that a new neighborhood was built in the city. It’s called Yeni Sehir, which translates to the New City, and it is larger than the old one.
On the margins of capitalism or in the furnace of communism, Turkic peoples have borne the brunt of modernity’s failures and experienced few of its successes. Ancient history, invented or otherwise, offers a refuge.
“My baba left,” I would say to friends, who were still a little mystified I had moved by choice, “and now I’ve come back.” I could never stop myself from saying “back.” In a way, it makes no sense. I had never lived in Turkey before. But it acknowledges something that feels true: that the arcs of our stories stretch beyond our own lifetimes.