From its rich history to its amazing cuisine, there’s plenty of reading to do in order to get to know Turkey from all of its angles. Check out some of the best books about Turkey and all the facets of its culture and history.
Turkey: A Short History
Written by the first-class historian Norman Stone, this book is a great introduction to Turkey’s history from a very insightful perspective. Going way back to the early Turks of Central Asia, Stone approaches Turkish history from a very different angle, always focusing on the past’s role in the current republic.
Constantinople: City of the World’s Desire
If you’re interested in the history of Istanbul, then this book by Philip Mansel is quite the fascinating read, as it’s a definitive history of the city once called Constantinople. Written by one of the most respected historians, the book delves deep into the details of empires past.
Classical Turkish Cooking
If you’re a fan of Turkish cooking, then this lovely cookbook, written by Ayla Algar, should allow you to bring the basics of Turkish cuisine into your own kitchen. The cookbook features easy-to-follow recipes on everything from meze, soups, meat, and fish dishes, along with the history regarding Turkey’s amazing food culture.
A Short History of Byzantium
What became Constantinople and then Istanbul was once known as Byzantium, and this excellent book travels back to the roots of an ancient empire that stood strong for more than 1,000 years. From the details of Byzantine art and all the emperors and their individual triumphs, this book is a condensed version of a study that spans three volumes.
If you really want to travel back in time to the Ottoman Empire during its heyday, or during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent, then there’s nothing better than reading the letters written by a Flemish nobleman who was in Istanbul between 1554 and 1562. These amazing accounts of the nobleman’s ambassadorial mission paint a very detailed picture of what the empire was really like in its glorious golden age.
Strolling Through Istanbul
One of the best guides to Istanbul ever published, this book, written by Hilary Sumner-Boyd and John Freely, takes readers on a stroll through Istanbul and all of its most exceptional sights. Every historic monument and site is given its due, as well as tidbits of its secret history, anecdotes, and hidden corners.