Europe's exotic corner to the southeast, Turkey embodies both new waves and old traditions. A long and interesting history backs up this country's current flow of cultural produce.
Towering above all other contemporary and maybe even historical writers is the best-selling author Orhan Pamuk. Winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, the first Turkish writer to ever do so, Pamuk has become a worldwide success with his well-constructed and highly readable novels that often centers around his hometown, Istanbul. Additionally, Turkey has a wealth of other writers and poets that have made it into an international sphere. Nazim Hikmet who wrote wonderfully avant-garde poetry, the prominent Kurdish-Turkish Yasar Kemal and the legendary 12th century poet Yunus Emre all serve as a good mix when first embarking on the beautiful literature of Turkey.
Turkey has also managed to make a name for itself through music and cinema and a delightful example that combines both is the award-winning Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul from 2005, which was directed by Fatih Akin and features a number of Istanbul-based bands. Another cinema-name to watch out for is the highly successful Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who amongst other accolades won the Award for Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.
Musically Turkey can boast a number of interesting artists as well with the pop-singer Tarkan, who had a major international hit in 1997 with Simarik. Interestingly, the lyrics were provided by another famous Turkish musician, Sezen Aksu.
Eurovision Song Contest-winner Sertab Erener, like Sezen Aksu, is a female singer to pay closer attention to on your quest through Turkish music.