Convincing reference work on Turkish culture and history

May 2007 -

Two thousand years ago, Turkish-speaking peoples started to migrate to the west, from the heart of Asia to the Mediterranean region. Along the way the Turks established various empires, the cultures of which still exist today over an enormously widespread area. This melting of traditions, culture and language and its effects on social and political life are the subject of a thick reference work illustrated with beautiful photos: The Turkic Speaking Peoples – 1500 Years of Art and Culture from Inner Asia to the Balkans.

Readers especially interested in the wrestling match with the modern times of present-day Turkey will probably thoroughly enjoy the historical discourses on the relevant conflicts and dramas. The authors have succeeded in achieving many of their objectives. This extensive reference work has 495 pages in which 36 scientists and other experts academically discuss the cultural symbiosis of the Turkish conquerors and their environment. The editors of The Turkic Speaking Peoples have devoted every effort to present a sound, convincing picture of these symbiotic relationships. They shed light on aspects including the various religions, arts, architecture, language, identity and history.

The book discusses in detail various historical interpretations, making it a valuable source of information. And that is exactly how it should be read: as a mature contribution to opening dialogue with other cultures without the pretence of having the only right answer.

Ergun Cabatay en Dogan Kuban, The Turkic Speaking Peoples. 1500 years of Art and Culture from inner Asia to the Balkans. Prestel Verlag, €75,00