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Turkish Kaleidoscope

Fractured Lives in a Time of Violence

Jenny White, illustrated by Ergün Gündüz

Published by Princeton University Press

£17.99 / $22.96 / €21.34
($/€ approx)

Paperback, 120 pages, published May 2021
Book Description

A powerful graphic novel that traces Turkey’s descent into political violence in the 1970s through the experiences of four students on opposing sides of the conflict.

It is 1975 and Turkey is on the verge of civil war. Faruk and Orhan are from conservative shopkeeping families in eastern Anatolia that share a sense of new possibilities. Nuray is the daughter of villagers who have migrated to the provincial city where Yunus, the son of an imprisoned teacher, was raised in genteel poverty. While attending medical school in Ankara, Faruk draws a reluctant Orhan into a right-wing nationalist group while Nuray and Yunus join the left. Against a backdrop of escalating violence, the four students fall in love, have their hearts broken, get married, raise families, and struggle to get on with their lives. But the consequences of their decisions will follow them through their lives as their children begin the story anew, skewed through the kaleidoscope of historical events.

Inspired by Jenny White’s own experiences as a student in Turkey during this tumultuous period as well as original oral histories of Turks who lived through it, Turkish Kaleidoscope reveals how violent factionalism has its own emotional and cultural logic that defies ideological explanations.

Reviews for Turkish Kaleidoscope

“Significant and original. Turkish Kaleidoscope provides a vivid account of political violence and its many consequences.” – Elise Massicard, author of The Alevis in Turkey and Europe: Identity and Managing Territorial Diversity

“A moving and sharply focused account of this painful chapter in Turkey’s history. The tragedy of young people willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for a cause that was so ill-defined comes across vividly in the stories and graphics.” – Reşat Kasaba, author of A Moveable Empire: Ottoman Nomads, Migrants, and Refugees

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