Turkey: What everyone needs to know by Andrew Finkel
Call Number: DR440 .F56 2012
Publication Date: 2012-03-02
Poised between Europe and Asia, Turkey occupies a vital and unique strategic position in the world. A major trading partner with Europe, Turkey has become an influential player in the Middle East (sharing substantial borders with Iran, Iraq, and Syria), as well as a hub tor the Caucasus, the Balkans, and Central Asia, making it a key East-West conduit for the region's oil and gas. This predominantly Muslim country also possesses one of the world's fastest growing economies, with Istanbul alone having a GDP greater than Hungary. In Turkey: What Everyone Needs to Know, veteran journalist and commentator Andrew Finkel takes on the critical questions facing this rising powerhouse, expertly covering such sensitive issues as the country's Large Kurdish population, reconciliation with Armenia, and its guardianship over a nearly matchless natural and archeological heritage. Finkel unravels Turkey's contemporary complexities, from its domestic economic and cultural policies to its freighted relationship with Israel and Washington, setting them against the historical background of the Ottoman Empire, the secular nationalist revolution led by Kemal Ataturk, and the country's dramatic, even dizzying, post-war transformation. What happens in Turkey has consequences worldwide. Turkey's application to be part of the EU challenges the notion of European identity, and its transition to multiparty politics offers a precedent for the Arab spring. But Turks themselves question the quality of their own democracy, and, as Finkel reveals, the country's new self-confidence and its status as a geopolitical pivot carry the potential either to propel the country forward or into isolation. Finkel illuminates the past and present of this unique, and uniquely consequential, country. Book jacket.