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Issue 39, 2008

Diplomatic Secrets

£8.00 / $10.33 / €9.49
($/€ approx)

Ankara’s palaces of diplomacy. The wierdly wonderful art of Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu. George Maw, crocus collector. The wild Phrygian Highlands. Anatolian nomads; Colossal carpets; Istanbul’s blue and white porcelain in Sweden; Byzantine Thrace. Plus: the fragrant melon


  • Birth of a Nation

    How the diplomatic world dragged itself away from Istanbul and settled in the new capital. By Norman Stone

  • The Sweet Taste of Summer

    Colourful mountains of melons are a common sight at weekly street markets. Connoisseurs examine them, sniff them, weigh them in their hands. The stalk should have dried slightly, the bottom yield gently if pressed and the fruit should feel heavy and full.
    Also see Cornucopia 47, Watermelons
    More cookery features

  • The Land that Midas Touched

    Phrygia, in western Anatolia, was one of the most powerful kingdoms in the Near East – home to Midas, Gordius and Alcibiades. Today the remnants of their lives litter this forgotten landscape, abandoned by all but a few villagers who still tell stories of the unfortunate king who lived to regret his golden gift. David Barchard heads to the Phyrigian highlands to explore a land of myth and mystery. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

  • Crockery and crocuses

    In Turkey the tireless George Maw was able to indulge in both his loves. He found inspiration for the decorative tiles made by his family pottery. And he discovered the plants that inspired his magnificent book on crocuses.

  • Ankara’s Palaces of Diplomacy

    A new capital called for new architecture. Ankara in the 1920s and 1930s produced a fascinating diversity of styles as the foreign powers dragged themselves away from the Bosphorus and settled reluctantly on the Anatolian plateau

Inside the issue

Cover Story

  1. It's a Wonderfully Weird World
    Andrew Finkel meets the Turkish artist
    Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu

Palaces of Diplomacy: A 50-page guide to the embassies of Ankara

  1. Birth of a Nation
    How the Republic put Ankara on the map,
    by Norman Stone
    [extract available online]

Crockery and Crocuses

  1. Martyn and Alison Rix on George Maw,
    a Victorian enthusiast
    [extract available online]

The Land that Midas Touched

  1. A walk on the wild side in the Phrygian Highlands, by David Barchard

Book Reviews

  1. Nomads in Anatolia, by Harald Böhmer. Reviewed by Robert Chenciner. [available online]
  2. Gerald Fitzmaurice (1865-1939), by G R Berridge. Reviewed by David Barchard (1947–2020). [available online]
  3. The Byzantine Monuments of the Evros/Meriç River Valley [available online]


  1. Exhibitions and salerooms in London, Berlin and Istanbul
  2. Colossal carpets
    Daniel Shaffer on Istanbul's Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
  3. John Carswell on Stockholm's splendid showing of blue and white porcelain


  1. The Sweet Taste of Summer
    Melons, by Berrin Torolsan
    [extract available online]


  1. Village Voices Azize Ethem's Iznik diary
  2. Restaurants Andrew Finkel eats out in Alanya and Istanbul
  3. Too Good to be Missed David Elliot's Turkish arts round-up
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