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‘The Club’: Netflix’s Sephardic Heroine Braves Turkey’s Troubled Past

Netflix’s 'The Club'

“The Club” also offers a biting social critique. For the show is less about the arrival of cocktail modernity to Istanbul than about the Turkification of cocktail modernity, i.e., a pincer movement by Kemalist state and society to substitute good secular Muslim Turks for Istanbul’s Greeks, Jews and Armenians.

A Brief History of Bağcılar, Turkey’s Most Misunderstood Municipality

A Brief History of Bağcılar

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,” wrote Robert Frost. In this profile of Bağcılar, one of Istanbul’s most misunderstood districts, we look at the riveting history of Turkey’s self-styled “municipality to the world.”

The ‘Ghost Empire’ of the Balkans

The ‘Ghost Empire’ of the Balkans

In the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire is gone but not forgotten. Many of the citizens of republics in southeastern Europe long for the past to return, a nostalgia that has not gone unnoticed in Turkey. For years, politicians have sought to mobilize this post-imperial memory for their own purposes.

William Eichler
When Nature’s Force Turns Into Political Intrigue

When Nature’s Force Turns Into Political Intrigue

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.

Naomi Cohen
Turkey’s New Spy Mission

Turkey’s New Spy Mission

​​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.

Idil Karsit,
Shawn Carrié
Istanbul’s Most Beguiling Cocktail

Istanbul’s Most Beguiling Cocktail

Among all the foods in Istanbul’s giant foodscape, perhaps the one with the most complicated and long history and provenance is boza.

Suna Çağaptay
For Most of Turkey’s History, Liberalism Has Been More Illusory Than Real

For Most of Turkey’s History, Liberalism Has Been More Illusory Than Real

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.

James Ryan