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Patriot, poet, playwright, journalist, historian, exile, prisoner, four times provincial governor and founder of the movement which led to the Young Turks… the life of Namık Kemal was all action and incident. Osman Streater assesses his forebear’s pivotal role in the development of modern Turkey
My great-great-grandfather Namık Kemal, born in 1840, lived only until 1888 but managed to pack a huge amount into those years. An early starter in most things, he wrote his first beyt (rhyming couplet) at thirteen. Married at seventeen, he entered the Translation Bureau of the Sublime Porte. By twenty-three, writing prolifically, he was a journalist on the newspaper Tasvir-í Efkár.
In 1865 his daughter Feride was born; she was later to marry my great-grandfather Menemenlizáde Rifat Bey.
A small and perfectly formed exhibition of Iznik pottery held in Qatar has given birth to a fittingly exquisite catalogue
Red peppers, chillies, maize and sunflowers set the Mediterranean ablaze with their pungent flavours and fiery colours. But of all the Aztecs’ gifts, it is the tomato, above all, that tastes of the sun
The Ottomans were not only passionate about flowers. They turned the enjoyment of gardens into an art form. John Carswell leafs through a lavish volume which unlocks the gate to the pleasure grounds of Istanbul’s imperial palaces.
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Sold in 2003 for record prices, these magical daguerrotype plates of Istanbul in the 1840s are the earliest known photographic images of the city. They are the work of Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, an obsessive Frenchman with a passion for Islamic architecture. By Elizabeth Meath Baker.
In the closing years of the nineteenth century, the Aegean coast of Turkey witnessed three of the greatest archaeological finds of all time. The discovery of Ephesus and Troy made international headlines overnight. But the third – an unassuming stone house in an isolated forest – was immediately enveloped in secrecy. By Donald Carroll
Under the Ottomans, Kirkuk’s ancient citadel was the heart of a thriving cosmopolitan city. But politics and oil have reduced it to a deserted ruin. Owen Matthews, who has been covering northern Iraq for several years, visited Kirkuk at the end of the recent war. Photographs by Ashley Gilbertson
Martyn Rix sidesteps the concrete condos of the Turkish Riviera to go searching for native flowers.
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Dipping into a Mediterranean idyll, Stephen and Nina Solarz have built a haven high above the harbour of Kalkan. Andrew Finkel paid them a visit. Photographs by James Mortimer
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