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Monica Whitlock has worked for the BBC World Service since 1991. Between 1995 and 1988 she was based in Central Asia and she has returned many times since. Journalists are notoriuos for writing unreadable books; a very different skill is required from that needed for turning out snappy pieces for readers or listeners with a withered attention span. Whitlock. however, has produced an admirable insight into the personal lives of the Uzbeks and Tajiks in the upheavals of the Soviet and post-Soviet age.
The Russian love affair with the Caucasus has been long and cruel, though the outside world knows little of the multitude of ethnic groups who for millennia have inhabited this remote strip of land the size of France.
Few cities have been served so faithfully by an artist as Istanbul was served, in its twilight years as a great imperial capital, by Fausto Zonaro. By Philip Mansel
Turkey’s Kaçkar Mountains, a daunting extension of the Caucasus high above the Black Sea, are only for the intrepid. Ali Özgü Caneri and Kate Clow took advantage of the short trekking season to scale two of the saw-edged summits. Photographs by Kate Clow.
Exiled by Stalin in 1929, Trotsky went to live on the Princes Islands near Istanbul. For four years he fished, wrote and developed the doctrine of Trotskyism. Remarkable photographs from the David King Collection show a quiet, ordered existence. Norman Stone uncovers the plotting that lay behind it.
Turkey’s northeastern neighbour, Georgia, is a fairytale country with a hard edge, and its entrancing landscape of isolated hilltop cathedrals and medieval monasteries just demands to be explored. By Minn Hogg
Built as way-stations for Orthodox pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land or Mount Athos, the rooftop churches of Karaköy are a forgotten corner of the Motherland in the heart of Istanbul. By Owen Matthews. Photographs by Simon Wheeler
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