Historical Dictionary of Turkey
1 volume: Maps, Reader’s note, Acronyms and Abbreviations, Chronology, Introduction, Appendixes, Geography and Resources, Ottoman Sultans and Turkish Presidents and Prime Ministers, General Elections in the Republican Period (1923- ), Basic Economic Indicators, Basic Social Indicators
Turkey is truly a crossroads country. Because of its geographic location straddling both Europe and Asia it has been an area of strategic importance since ancient times. Nearly every civilization ranging from the Hittites in the 18 century B.C. to the European Union in the 21st century has left its mark on the country. This dictionary give a rapid introduction to a rapidly evolving country that is still a blend of the ancient and modern, tradition and change. The people now known as the Turks did not arrive in the country until the 12th century, the book does have a few entries for pre-Ottoman peoples. However, the majority of the book deals with the late Ottoman period of the 19th century and “modern Turkey” which is dated from the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
The introduction and reader’s note are mandatory reading for people unfamiliar with the country, its language and its political development as it explains the use of the many strange diacritics found in the dictionary and introduces much of the background information required for an understanding of the country. The maps at the front display the growth and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire as well as the boundaries of the modern country. The bibliography is extensive and contains references for further reading arranged by topic. Two of the most divisive issues in Turkey’s international politics, the actions of Ottoman Turkey towards the Armenians after World War I and the current divided country of Cyprus are discussed in the short entries.