- What’s On
As Barnaby Rogerson writes in his gripping new book, crusading went out of fashion following the Latin seizure of Constantinople in 1204. Soon thereafter the tables were turned, and Muslim powers began to inflict defeats on the flower of Christendom – until, that is, the Portuguese ventured across the Straits of Gibraltar to sack Ceuta in 1415, sparking a “world war” that would end, again in Morocco, in 1578, with the defeat of the Portuguese King Sebastian by Sultan Abdulmalik. In the intervening years the Habsburgs (of both the Spanish and Austrian houses) fought the Ottomans and a host of lesser Muslim states, even as the Portuguese sailed the oceans to establish the first global trading empire. Rogerson tells a rollicking tale, bringing to life the superheroes of the past while conjuring up the mainly Mediterranean shores where they vied for power and profit in a long coda to the crusades of medieval times. His text is enhanced by a plethora of maps, timelines, biographies and family trees to guide the reader through the complex history and geography of an era that has left an indelible mark on the modern world.
The Turkic Uighurs of Western China have long chafed under Communist Chinese rule. Christian Tyler meets their formidable figurehead, Rebiya Kadeer, who spent five years in prison for protesting against her people’s treatment and now carries on her fight for their freedom from Washington
Robert Ousterhout is agog at the remarkable Georgian churches of the Tao-Klarjeti, the two medieval Georgian principalities between Kars and the Kaçkars
For the English-speaking community of Istanbul the suggestion of aqueduct-hunting in Thrace strikes fear into the hearts of all but the foolhardy. Relentlessly cheerful, Prof James Crow of Edinburgh University would laugh off each misadventure and forge onward.
Leo Gough grew up in the hothouse atmosphere of Cold War Ankara, where his father was director of the British Institute of Archaeology. He recalls tales of derring-do from the larger-than-life visitors and scholars who passed through the institute’s doors
Kate Clow, pioneering waymarker and author of two walking guides to the Taurus Mountains, has now created a guide to trekking in the Kaçkars. Here she describes four breathtaking one-day walks.
By whatever name it is known – whether Karataş Yayla (Black Rock Pasture) or ÇaGrankaya (Singing Rock) – this spur of the Kaçkars is full of drama. Andrew Byfield battled rain and fog to reach its riches
High in the apparently empty Kaçkars, the way of life is as old as the hills. Michael Hornsby joins in the fun at a village festival in remote summer pastures. Photographs by Giulio Rubino
Norman Stone unravels the history of Kars
Unlocking the door to the private world of Feyhaman and Güzin Duran, by Maureen Freely