Owing to the fact that Turkey as a land of Biblical, cultural and geopolitical importance, has accommodated different civilisations, religions and cultures for millennia, the country has always attracted a great number of visitors not only for touristic but also cultural and religious reasons. As can be seen from books, such as Journey to Kars (1), Turkish Reflections (2), In Xanadu:A Quest (3), A Traveller on Horseback (4), Talking Turkey (5), The Towers of Trebizond (6) and The Asiatics (7), most travellers who have visited Turkey have tended to be keen on visiting the historical sites of particular places such as Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, Van and Kars.
In addition, owing to its strategic situation between Asia and Europe in both geopolitical and cultural terms, Turkey has supplied an exotic setting for many diverse texts. Among events of historical significance in the twentieth century can be noted the battles of World War I (8), particularly Gallipoli (9), the foundation of the Turkish Republic (10) and the subsequent reforms introduced by Kemal Atatürk (11), Turkey's neutrality in World War II (12) and consequent strategic significance for espionage, a series of military coups (13), the Cyprus conflict (14), and the rise of the narcotics trade (15), Turkey's relations with the western world and its actual membership of NATO (16), all of which have provided western writers with primary sources for the depiction of Turkey and its people, encoded in a series of stereotypical images.
These stereotypical images appear in different literary genres such as prose fiction, travel books and magazines, in diverse media such as the cinema, and can be catalogued under a series of headings that include religious conspiracy, military coup, the drug-business, terrorist activity, antique-smuggling, political espionage, ethnic genocide and torture. On the whole, the images are negative, and Turks tend to be depicted as a corrupted people, often described as filthy and smelly workers who do the worst jobs, as lecherous sodomites, drug-producers and smugglers, relentless torturers and genocidal killers, terrorists, conspirators, barbarians.
Chronologically speaking, the early decades of the twentieth century were the years of war in Turkey, beginning in 1912, in the Balkans, during which Turkey lost two wars as well as one in Libya, before she entered World War I (1914) on the side of the Germans that also ended tragically. In North Africa, Italy declared war on Turkey (September 29, 1911) and as a result, Turkey lost the possession of both Tripolitania and Cyrenaica through the treaty of Lausanne (October 18, 1912) (Its Successors, 20). Furthermore, the Italo-Turkish war also encouraged the Balkans to revolt against Turkey with the formation of the Balkan League (Its Successors, 21). Thus, on October 8, 1912 the Balkan wars started with the active participation of Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia against Turkey. The final treaty of peace subsequent to the victory of the Allies (September 29, 1913), resulted in considerable increases in population, for all the Balkan states while Turkey lost two-thirds of her European population (17). Afterwards, World War I started in 1914 and the country entered the war on the side of the Germans which cost another heavy defeat. Eventually, 'the Balkan wars served as a prelude to all the carnage and destruction of the World War, and during the World War the Turkish Empire was to be destroyed' (The Partition of Turkey, 36), and then the occupation and partition of the country was started by the Allies.
After her defeat in World War I, the Ottoman Empire was dissolved and the state of Turkey emerged through the efforts of nationalist Turks who hoped to create a new country. Her new leadership, headed by Kemal Atatürk, embarked on a social, cultural, political and economic revolution with the ultimate goal being the creation of a modern, democratic nation-state with an advanced economy and a secular-minded, progressive people.
When the fatal collapse of the Ottoman Empire, which had already been established by the defeats at Navarino and the Crimea in the nineteenth century, was completed with the final blow of World War I by the Allies, the image of the country at that time was the 'Sick Man of Europe' (18). As emphasised by writers such as Barry Unsworth, Wayne S. Vucinich, Harry Howard, Richard D. Robinson and Bernard Lewis, it was an image of disgrace and humiliation for a people with a long and rich history.
Harry Howard carries this image back to the nineteenth century
suggesting that 'since 1844 the Porte had been recognised as the Sick Man
of Europe' (The Partition of Turkey, 19). Describing this period
Vucinich states that 'on October 30, 1918, at Mudros, the Turks signed
the Armistice ending the war, the 'Sick Man of Europe' finally expired'
(19). On the other hand, Richard D. Robinson evaluates
these difficult years of the Empire: ’Ottoman Turkey was the 'Sick Man
of Europe', and the Great Powers were merely biding their time until the
propitious moment to pick the bones with maximum benefit to themselves’
(20). Moreover, Bernard Lewis interprets these critical
years after World War I and comments: 'Meanwhile, in the West, the victorious
Allies were at last completing their arrangements for the disposal of the
Sick Man's worldly goods' (21).
Turkey’s involvement in World War I is reflected in a number of classic thrillers such as John Buchan's Greenmantle (1916), Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (1934), Graham Greene's Stamboul Train (Orient Express  ), Dennis Wheatley's The Eunuch of Stamboul (1935) and Eric Ambler's early book A Coffin For Dimitrios (1939).
One of the earliest examples of thrillers concerning Turkey is Greenmantle. Although the novel draws on a real historical event, like the African rebellion depicted in Prester John (1910), Buchan added a number of details especially with regard to religion. It involves German attempts to foment a Muslim Jihad (Holy War) against the British in Erzurum, the eastern town of Turkey, during World War I:
Islam is a fighting creed, and the mullah still stands in the pulpit with the Koran in one hand and a drawn sword in the other. Supposing there is some Ark of the Covenant which will madden the remotest Moslem peasant with dreams of Paradise? What then, my friend? (22)
Turkish stereotypes depicted in the novel appear as naive, and subservient to the will of the religious leader, Greenmantle, so that the Germans can easily attempt to utilise this weakness by killing the real Greenmantle and replacing him with the disguised German intelligence officer Hilda von Einem, in order to manipulate the Turkish people into declaring Jihad against the British. Criticising the book from a religious point of view, Simon discusses Buchan's lack of information about Islam and Muslims: 'No matter that Buchan clearly does not understand the Muslims and Islam, Buchan's heroes are inspired by real British characters' (23).
As regards the religious motif in the early texts, another example is The Eunuch of Stamboul in which a pro-Islamic organisation (KAKA) conspires a military coup against the Turkish republic under the leadership of Prince Ali, the wicked fictional caliph. Apart from his physical description as a 'garlic eating bounder' (24) he is also portrayed as an aggressive and lecherous person recounting exotic stories about harem life with symbolic religious connotations when he talks to Diana:
It will interest you to know, Miss Duncannon, that there is an ancient ritual when a Caliph summons a woman to his bed. I intend that you shall be first to receive that honour during my Caliphate (The Eunuch of Stamboul, 308).
In various parts of the novel, besides his wickedness and lechery, Prince Ali is ironically represented as a man of royal heritage i.e. 'Ali came of the line of sultans' (The Eunuch of Stamboul, 221):
To hear is to obey. Oh! Most exalted one. May Allah bless the pleasures of the illustrious Descendant of the prophet. His servant is eager to show such small talents as he may bring felicity to the Highest of all masters (The Eunuch of Stamboul, 310).
Subsequently, when Wheatley creates Prince Ali as the arch villain he also seems to overestimate some basic Islamic rituals and practices; for example when Swithin and Diana are kidnapped and taken to the prince towards the end of the novel, and:
'The accompanying escort unrobes the lady garment by garment', continued Ali, 'then retreats backwards with low obeisances, closing the doors and leaving the favoured one naked in the presence of her lord. He reclines at ease in the great bed of State inspecting this thing which is to be the instrument of his pleasure. She, overcome by the honour done her, falls upon her knees, touches the ground three times with her forehead, and offers fervent prayers to Allah that, unworthy as she is, he may confer the inestimable blessing upon her of allowing her to conceive. Then with true humility she insinuates herself into the foot of the Imperial bed, creeps upwards little by little, until she can kiss the feet of the Descendent of the Prophet and, receiving permission to advance, presses her lips to each of his legs in turn, inch by inch as she crawls forward on her belly.' (The Eunuch of Stamboul, 309)
Eric Ambler employs a similar religious motif in The Mask of Dimitrios (1939) in which the assassination of Kemal Atatürk by a group of religious fanatics is emphasised:
In nineteen twenty-four a plot to assassinate the Gazi was discovered. It was the year he abolished the Caliphate and the plot was outwardly the work of a group of religious fanatics. Actually the men behind it were agents of some people in the good graces of a neighbouring friendly government. They had good reasons for wishing the Gazi out of the way. The plot was discovered. The details are unimportant. But one of the agents who escaped was a man known as Dimitrios. (25)
Murder on the Orient Express is another typical example of the genre, with its mysterious murder-plot and its setting which is the Orient Express itself travelling through Europe to Istanbul and back again. The novel focuses in typical Christie fashion on the passengers and her stereotypical detective, Hercule Poirot, who is supposed to find the murderer with his classical methods of investigation (26). As Simon emphasises, in Christie's work 'the main characters are the same. They are Europeans who operate against a Middle Eastern backdrop where the natives are bellboys, elevator operators, or native help on archaeological digs' (The Middle East, 3). Apart from several minor characters there seems to be no major Turkish characters as the mystery takes place among the European passengers on the train.
Another similar classical spy thriller concerning Turkey is Graham Greene's Stamboul Train which was first published in the USA as Orient Express. Although the trail of murder, revolution and intrigue starting from Ostend is resolved in Istanbul, there is no direct reference to Turkey or the Turks, apart from a few exceptional passages about Istanbul and its inhabitants such as those attributed to the well-known 'Pera Palas' hotel and its Armenian proprietor Mr. Kalebdjian (27).
A general characteristic of thrillers of the early twentieth century suggests that 'by John Buchan's time, villains are anarchists, agents of foreign powers, persons of mysterious ancestry, and, as in Greenmantle, have unwholesome sexual habits' (The Middle East, 92). The villains in Greenmantle are mainly German; a notorious German woman archaeologist, Hilda von Einem; and the homosexual colonel Stumm. The heroes consist of Richard Hannay and his company including 'Sandy Arbuthnot, a multilingual Orientalist who manages to impersonate a sufi dervish and to wander throughout Anatolia gathering intelligence' (The Middle East, 62).
It should be noted that on the basis of some spy motifs concerning Turkey there are some writers such as Graham Greene who make use of their personal experiences. In addition although it was not so widespread as among nineteenth-century literary figures, a significant group of writers comprising Oxbridge graduates such as Greene, Lawrence, Fleming and Forster travelled to Middle Eastern countries as diplomats and possibly spies because ‘British intelligence was skilled in setting its agents to “travelling” and, by the way, indulging in surreptitious surveying, map-making, photographing, and rumour-planting, especially in the Orient and the Middle East’ (28).
Graham Greene seems to be one of the outstanding examples of the association of travelling and intelligence, and gives an account of his involvement with British intelligence in different parts of the world ranging from Europe to Africa and Asia in his A World of My Own: A Dream and Diary (1992):
My experiences in M.I.6. in My Own World were far more interesting than the desk work which I performed during three years in the Common World...Of my experiences perhaps the most adventurous, and more in the spirit of the CIA than of M.I.6., was a certain mission to Germany (29).
Sometimes he refers to his experiences as an agent in different countries such as Germany, Turkey and Egypt through anecdotes such as the following:
With another man I was spying in Germany, dressed in the uniform of a German officer. We were very light-hearted about the whole affair and to escape we took a train that would cross the Swiss frontier. Nor were we very perturbed when a beautiful young woman demanded our papers. My companion, who was of high rank, said that our papers were packed in our luggage, and she accepted the excuse, only marking the tickets in pencil with the numeral 75 (A Dream and Diary, 23-4).
When Paul Fussell, focusing on a particular period of time, discusses the spy issue in association with travellers, he remarks that 'in the late 30s it became increasingly possible to believe that adventurers and travellers were really spies, in accordance with British folk-tradition dating back a century' (Abroad, 226). He gives some individual examples:
One assumes Fleming was, for he was a loyal, philistine, and uncomplicated young man with an impenetrable facade, perfect material for M.I.5., as his subsequent success in intelligence work in China and India during World War Two would suggest (Abroad, 175).
By the same token, Forster is said to have been involved in some 'hush-hush' work when he travelled to South Africa, and T. E. Lawrence was believed to be a top spy as he had already fermented a revolt in Afghanistan (Abroad, 226).
The late 1940s and early 1950s became a turning point in Turkish political history when the country set up close political and economic relations with the West, especially with the USA, subsequent to the Turkish-American agreement on military aid and co-operation ratified in Ankara (September 1, 1947) as a part of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshal Plan, announced on June 5, 1947, and Turkey's ensuing admission into the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation further strengthened its economic and political ties with the United States (April 16, 1948). On the other hand, Turkey contributed militarily to the U.N. effort in Korea, starting in June, 1950, and its subsequent entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (February 18, 1952) in order that the Soviet expansion could be prevented. In the wake of this political decision, Turkey gradually increased its geopolitical significance as she supplied the only gateway to the Balkans via the Straits, and to the Middle East (History of the Ottoman Empire, 399-401).
A further consequence was the steady impact of ideological, cultural and military infiltration from abroad. The USA established military bases in strategically important parts of the country, while other European countries and Russia sent diplomats, officials, military and cultural attaches as well as spies and agents. This new panorama furthered the rise of the publication of detective and spy thrillers taking place in Turkey with different intrigues and conspiracies. When Simon seeks to explain the reason for the increase in thrillers about Turkey she refers to the intensive political and military changes in the country:
Once Turkey joined NATO, all sorts of agents appear retrieving something
or other from inaccessible drops along the Soviet Frontiers, or stopping
the drug trade. The Turks are Nick Carter's sidekicks as he swats Commies
in the North and terrorists in Istanbul (The Middle East, 60).
In thrillers set in Turkey of the Cold War era, one of the stereotypical plots is international political espionage and conspiracy, particularly between communist agents and western counterparts. As Stanley J. Shaw argues; 'The end of the war in Europe did not mean the end of the war for Turkey' (History of the Ottoman Empire, 399). While the USSR were extending their rule over East European countries, they also demanded the restoration of Kars and Ardahan from Turkey in the east and of parts of Thrace from Bulgaria, while they asked for revision of the Montreux Convention to obtain access to the Straits in war as well as in peace and allow them to establish military bases along both the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. Although Turkey officially turned down these demands, Communist groups in sympathy with Russia in the country began to agitate for concession.
Having borders with the USSR, Bulgaria, Iraq, Syria and Iran on the one hand, and being a member of NATO on the other hand, Turkey provided an inspirational atmosphere for novelists to build up stories of exciting political espionage and terrorist conspiracy. Good examples of this are Charles Forsyte's Murder with Minarets (1968) (30) and Diplomatic Death (1961) (31); both being constructed around a chain of mysterious murders among British and American diplomats as a result of internal political espionage. Julian Rathbone's Hand Out (1968) starts with a political murder on the Turco-Russian border and ends in the South of Turkey with the victorious operation of the western heroes.
Another typical spy motif involves Nazis and democratic westerners in Turkey. For instance, Journey Into Fear (1966) introduces a conflict between Nazi spies and the British representative of an armaments factory who wants to sell sophisticated weapons to Turkey to assure her national defence against an imminent Nazi threat.
Despite the fact that the theme of espionage and spying particularly seems more peculiar to thrillers and detective stories such as Istanbul, When I Grow Rich and Trip Trap than travel accounts, Rose Macaulay, unlike some other travellers such as Mary Lee Settle, Paul Theroux and Eric Newby, tends to make use of it in The Towers of Trebizond with numerous references to British spies travelling all around the country in different disguises:
At the next table sat the British diplomat got up as a Turk who had said 'yok' to aunt Dot, he was with another Briton en 'Turque', whom he had come to meet there, and they were talking Turkish together and drinking coffee and spying. (Towers, 25).
While John Dos Passos and William Dalrymple refer to it briefly early on, Rose Macaulay often reminds the reader of this particular issue in her book. For example, while the issue is partly implied in Orient Express in association with the murder of an Armenian at the Pera Palace in Istanbul by a Bolshevik spy (32), in In Xanadu: A Quest, Dalrymple relates it to the suspicious attitudes and conversations of some Russian people waiting in the queue like himself to get through the customs at the Turco-Syrian border, and he infers: 'They talked Russian among themselves and explained to us in French that they were teachers. Later, one of them said they were engineers. Probably they must have been KGB' (In Xanadu, 29-30).
Rose Macaulay comments:
Actually, we saw so many British spies in disguise spying in Turkey that I cannot mention all of them, they kept cropping up wherever we went, like flying saucers and pictures of Ataturk and people writing their Turkey books. One of these, whose name was Charles, and I had known him at Cambridge (Towers, 25).
Macaulay utilised the popular image of spying (33) as a sub-plot of the book which is used as an excuse for the mysterious vanishing of Aunt Dot and Father Chantry-Pig at the Russian border; 'Dorothy has gone through the curtain to spy' (Towers, 121).
In the second part of the book which deals with Aunt Dot's and
Father Chantry-Pigg's trespassing on the Russian border and speculation
about their disappearance, Alice R. Bensen makes a general comment concerning
this particular theme of spying:
Although this adventure is the least integrated part of the plot, it was highly topical in the mid-1950's when two British physicists had just deserted to Russia and when all countries were jittery from spy-scares and were tightening their visa restrictions (34).
The first introduction of spies to the reader is made at the beginning of the journey as the group of three visit the British Cemetery and other historical sites of Dardanelles, where 'the two British spies got up as Turks stood among the rest, spying out the military secrets of Troas' (Towers, 34). The number of international spies in Turkey is hinted at on occasions, as where 'Istanbul was a hot-bed of them, and Trebizond a nest' (Towers, 113). While Laurie converses with Aunt Dot about the spreading number of spies in the country, saying that 'all this spying was very interesting to us, as we had too often heard of it but had not known that it flourished in Turkey to this extent (Towers, 112), she roughly calculates a figure in response to Aunt Dot's question about the number of spies they have already come across; 'About fifty so far, I should think. But of course there must be hundreds more that we haven't noticed, because they spy more quietly' (Towers, 113).
As the missionary group come across spies in every place they visit in Turkey they tend to interrupt their main task, which is to emancipate the enslaved women of the town of Trebizond by converting them to Christianity, and start conversing about the issue of spying. For example, Aunt Dot and Laurie start such a conversation in Trebizond:
'What would you think they are doing here?' I said. 'spying, naturally', said Aunt Dot. 'They had fishing-rods, and no doubt presently we shall be seeing them on the lake...' 'I wonder how much they are paid', said aunt Dot, 'and how often.' 'And who by', I said. Were they collecting it on the island, would you say?' (Towers, 112).
These interruptions continue on and off with the reappearance of 'the spies who murmured to one another in corners in various tongues (Towers, 56) on the ship to Trebizond, and through various speculations on the disappearance of Aunt Dot and Father Chantry-Pigg, eventually conclude with their repatriation from Russia towards the end of the book.
Apart from the critical geopolitical situation of the country in the region, another reason for the vast number of spy affairs, which is ironically implied in the text itself, is reflected in the awkwardness and unprofessionality of Turkish authorities, particularly the police. The representation of Turkish police which is tough, abusive and vulgar in travel accounts such as In Xanadu: A Quest and The Asiatics, is designated ironically here as easy-going, incompetent and clumsy, endorsed by one of the spies himself who notes that 'even if you know Turkish, you can't get the better of the Turkish police, because they can't reason' (Towers, 27). Elsewhere, he makes a similar comment conversing with Laurie about the routine interrogations of two British spies by Turkish police:
‘Will they lock them up?' I asked Charles. Charles said, ‘dear me no, it was just a Turkish gesture’. He and David had been taken to police stations for spying again and again, but never kept more than an hour or two, while the police probed into their past lives and the lives of their parents and other relations, and wrote a report for the police chiefs, then they were given a drink and let out to spy again (Towers, 36-7).
Since Turkey became an important political concern to the west, particularly to the USA during the 1960s and 1970s, following the 1960 revolution and the military coup and the international discussions about the poppy plantations in the country, thrillers involving Turkey of the time such as Nothing is the Number When You Die (1965), Black Amber (1965), Istanbul (1965), Diamonds Bid (1967), A Stench of Poppies (1978) and Trip Trap (1972) are generally concerned with some internal motifs such as coup attempts, political assassination and drug producing and trafficking
In the course of these crucial decades in Turkish political history, Julian Rathbone with his five consecutive thrillers (35) about Turkey has employed a wide range of these popular motifs taking place in cities such as Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir. Rathbone held a post in Ankara college, Turkey, and he also taught part-time at Ankara University in the Sixties, where he witnessed the 1960 revolution and subsequent sensational trials and attempts at further coups by extreme army groups. He was also aware of the political pressure brought by the USA on Turkey to halt hashish production, and subsequently he utilised such events in his writing.
In texts such as The Chessboard Spies (1969), and Diamonds Bid (1967), the reader faces an internal conspiracy against the present state system in the form of revolution or military coup that might easily be triggered by the assassination of the president or any top figure in the country. This motif relies upon the former experiences of the country since the state-system shifted from the religious to the secular with the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, and the period of military coups started in the early 1960s.
In his earliest thriller about Turkey Diamonds Bid, Rathbone employs the coup image which is clearly inspired by the 1960 revolution. The story begins when an English teacher Jonathan Smollett witnesses a bribe change hands at a police station in Ankara, and accidentally overhears a coup being planned by members of the overthrown Democrat Party (36) Although he is told to leave the country as soon as possible by the conspirators, he cannot leave Ankara as he is already in love with an English woman married to one of the British Embassy staff. Instead, he prefers to tell the story to Nur Bey, the chief of the security forces in Ankara as he sometimes goes to Nur's house to teach English to his son attending college.
After various adventures, Jonathan learns that the underground committee are going to assassinate the current president and the prime minister of the country during a national procession in Ankara as the first step of their coup. Eventually, the conspiracy is unmasked and the assassination is prevented mainly due to Jonathan's heroic assistance of Turkish security forces, especially his personal co-operation with Nur Bey and his deputy colleague Alp Bey, and he is allowed in return by Nur to smuggle the diamonds which he has taken from the French mistress of one of the conspirators through Istanbul Customs.
Another significant aspect of Diamonds Bid is its religious dimension with negative messages about Islam which is identified with the ideology of illegal organisation. While the members of the organisation, the supporters of the overthrown Democrat Party and its political inheritor the Justice Party, are designated as anti-regime fanatics, destroyers of the westernisation process in Turkey through attempting to corrupt the system, planning to assassinate the leading political figures of the country and preparing themselves for an imminent counter-coup, their underground movement is shown as fanatically religious: ‘We are really a religious movement, we want to return to a government dedicated to reforming our nation as the Sword of Islam that it once was’ (Diamonds Bid, 175). This notion of Islam which is shown as linked to the ideology of the villains in the novel becomes more explicit when it is emphasised that the underground organisation can gain support only from the mosque-builders, peasants, and imams rather than from the educated and westernised class in the cities (Diamonds Bid, 53).
So far as the image of Turkey in the later twentieth century is concerned it can be argued that the drug-phenomenon offers the most prominent image which has been utilised in a number of texts, principally travel accounts and films, whilst thrillers make use of this image either in the form of hashish planting and production or smuggling. When Simon analyses the thrillers and spy novels set in Turkey, she makes a classification in accordance with their themes or subject matter, and adds:
Turkey is the setting for detective stories and thrillers about the drug-trade. This include Joan Fleming's Nothing is the Number When You Die (1965), Nick Carter's Istanbul (1965) and Ivor Drummond's A Stench of Poppies (1978), to name just three of many (The Middle East, 109).
The recurring image of drug-dealing substantially derives from the fact that Turkey had a potential hashish production under the tight control of the official state organs to be used for medical purposes. S. J. and E. K. Shaw suggest that this led to a diplomatic problem with the West (History of the Ottoman Empire, 432). As a consequence of international diplomatic pressure encouraged basically by the USA, Turkey agreed to stop production completely in 1971 after the 1972 crop was harvested and this decision brought about considerable internal criticism as:
Many Turks could not understand why they were forced to bear the brunt of solving the American drug problem while the United States did nothing to curb the health - endangering tobacco crop in its own country and allowed American drug companies to manufacture and export far more drug than could be used in legitimate medical activities (History of the Ottoman Empire, 432).
After a time the Turkish government decided to distribute seed and provide the way for poppy production under strict government controls to prevent illicit drug-trafficking and in 1976 it was officially approved by the international Narcotics Control Board that these controls were fully effective and that there had not been any diversion or leakage to the illicit market (37). Despite this, the image of Turkey as a narcotics centre was so well-established that it continued unchanged.
Against the background of the drug industry in Turkey, novelists such as Eric Ambler, Ivor Drummond, Nick Carter, Joan Fleming and Julian Rathbone employed this popular myth in diverse forms ranging from poppy-planting to opium production, and from production to smuggling around the world. While in A Stench of Poppies (1978) the reader is taken to the fields of red and white poppies, Ivor Drummond presents the whole process of drug-trading which starts in the poppy fields of southwest Turkey and concludes with the final smuggling to Europe by ruthless drug-running professionals headed by a cosmopolitan Turkish businessman, Mustafa Algan (38).
Joan Fleming in When I Grow Rich (1962), reveals a different variation of drug-trafficking run by a woman, Madame Miasme with a background of notoriety, and the smuggling is carried out by an airline-steward during a flight from Istanbul to Hong Kong. In others like Phyllis A. Whitney's Black Amber (1965), the emphasis is on the professional processing of heroin out of raw poppies in irregular workshops or laboratories, and eventually the smuggling of hashish into different countries, particularly to Europe via Italy, in different ways. The story begins with a metaphorical identification of 'black amber' symbolising death and the mysterious disappearance of an American girl in Istanbul when she stumbles upon the drug-production and smuggling by the Turkish family members with whom she is staying (39). Unlike other thrillers, Nick Carter's Istanbul (1965) introduces an adventure story of the destruction of the poppy plantation and execution of four heroin producers by a typical American narcotics agent (40). The association of Turkey and drug smuggling is there in The Asiatics when the narrator is asked by Mr. Suleiman to take some satchels containing opium to Trabzon by sea in return for money as he is desperately in need of cash:
I shall give you a package of small tins wrapped in water-proof cloth. These I shall place in a small satchel. The satchel I give to you. You take the satchel upon the ship. You sail tomorrow evening. The next morning you approach Trebizond, opposite the peak of a hill, you will look at the water with great care. You will observe a certain floating buoy. Near this buoy you drop the satchel into the water. That is all. I knew, of course, what would be in the little tins, infinitely precious and secret. Opium (The Asiatics, 41-2).
In some cases, heroin is hidden in Turkish delight which is packed
to send abroad as presents; or camouflaged inside the artefacts or fake
archaeological pieces as souvenirs in order to avoid the customs. For example,
in When I Grow Rich (1962), after witnessing a mysterious murder
at Istanbul airport, Nuri Bey panics and rushes out carrying a case supposedly
full of Turkish delight to be sent to Hong Kong. He then decides to open
the case to satisfy his curiosity about its actual contents:
'Naturally I examined the case. I went to a public loo and opened it and I undid the packets of locum;...but inside they were solid blocks of heavy green stuff that smelt pretty horrid. Anyone with any sense could see it was raw opium, or something like that, mechanically compressed and cut into blocks the same size as a box of locum' (41).
Another important motif which is sometimes interwoven with the drug trade from the poppy fields through raw hashish to pure heroin powder, is the smuggling of antiques and archaeological treasures, priceless carpets, or jewellery and diamonds. The motif of antique smuggling that is more frequently employed by thriller writers, appears to originate from the fact that Turkey is situated in an unusual area in terms of cultural heritage, for the country embraced different civilisations including the Roman, Hittite, Byzantine and Ottoman. Under these circumstances, Turkey has welcomed archaeological excavations and investigations which have resulted in many valuable finds, mainly under the auspices of western institutions. Later, this led to numerous illegal excavations, and illegal marketing of the finds by both native and foreign smugglers as testified by the display of several pieces in different western museums.
The motif of antique smuggling recurs in the works of writers such as Merry L. Settle, Ivor Drummond or Julian Rathbone. For instance, Ivor Drummond uses this issue in his novel A Stench of Poppies (1978) in which the combination of drug and antique smuggling is run by a well-known Turk who has the best carpet shop in the Covered Bazaar, for he is professionally interested in such antique-items as pre-historic and historic pieces. In Philip Glazebrook's travel book Journey to Kars (1984) antique-smuggling is run by M. Mestan, the narrator’s landlord during his stay in the Aegean part of the country, who buys ancient coins and statues from the local shepherds at a low price and sells them at an inflated profit to the visiting dealers or tourists (Journey to Kars, 68-71). In In Xanadu: A Quest the narrator comments that: ‘In fact my anxieties were needless; pieces of rooftile we had managed to smuggle out of the site were later dated by the Fitzwilliam Museum as thirteenth-century Mongol, thus somewhat buttressing our classics’ (In Xanadu, 301).
In some cases, there seems to be a close combination of smuggling drugs, antiques and other valuable stones. This combination is strikingly exercised in A Stench of Poppies by Mr. Algan, who is very keen on antiques, whereas in Rathbone’s Diamonds Bid the political conspiracy is connected with the smuggling of diamonds.
In Trip Trap, Rathbone creates sensational images of drug-trafficking and antique smuggling in accordance with the historical and agricultural characteristics of the region, the Aegean part of Turkey being well-known for its archaeological sites and its huge opium fields. He provides a short synopsis about the nature of drug cultivation in Turkey through Nur Arslan, the chief detective, at the beginning of the novel who says that 'Papaver Somniferum was the most profitable cash crop of several thousand peasants who would otherwise live on or near famine level' (Trip Trap, 11). He also reveals that drug smuggling can be carried out along with antique trading as statues can be stuffed with opium before being shipped out through Izmir to Europe. Nur Bey exposes this trade:
We shall take samples from each statue that contains opium...Barish Uz. We have found sufficient evidence to convict you of buying opium and attempting to smuggle it out of Turkey...However, you are also smuggling antiquities (Trip Trap, 189-91).
Evidently, it is less risky to smuggle opium camouflaged in statues and bronzes since these artefacts have to be officially approved for export by bribing experts and Customs officials, and it seems more profitable, as confessed by the chief operator of the business that: 'My net profit on the opium would have been no more than fifty thousand dollars; my profit on the statues could have been a hundred thousands' (Trip Trap, 200).
When Edward Amberley, a middle-aged English representative of a manufacturing company, comes to Izmir to demonstrate his products at the Izmir Fair he meets Lilak Adler, who works for the Turkish mafia of drug-traffickers and antique smugglers. She suggests that he smuggles opium and artefacts to Europe via Italy as it will be easier and less risky to hide the stuff in his products, mainly tractors and ploughs:
Mr Amberley, I have a friend. A close friend to whom I owe a service. This friend needs to remove from Turkey to Europe four bulky objects. I think you can help him...In the country any friend's goods could be put into your cases which could be re-sealed in the presence of a very minor Customs official who would be quite reliable from our point of view. The cases...would leave without further Customs check (Trip Trap, 67).
In return, he is ensured that he will get back his own diamonds and other jewellery confiscated by the Turkish customs. After a while he is introduced to Colonel Nur, whose professional skill stems from his western education, by Diana Ashington, whose boyfriend has been murdered by the mafia, and eventually in co-operation with them Nur Bey succeeds in uncovering the illegal business and arrests the criminals as expected.
Subsequent to World War II, the typical historical figures standing for the old Empire like the 'Eunuch of Stamboul' Kazdim, who appears frequently in the early thrillers, tends to disappear, and instead Istanbul and other big cities like Ankara, Izmir and so on have become the centres of international intrigue populated with white Russians, Hungarian countesses (as in George Simenon's The Client of Avrenos) Communist and Balkan fellow travellers, German, and American, French and British agents.
It should also be noted that in these political espionage and terrorist conspiracies, the complicated and difficult situation is heroically resolved by the American or British agent - rarely in co-operation with the Turkish authorities - who usually uncovers the communist, Nazi or internal conspiracy behind the terrorist activities, and there is usually a scapegoat of different nationality or ethnic group living in Turkey such as Russians, Georgians, Romanians, Kurds or Arabs. For example, a Romanian is hired by a Nazi agent to assassin Graham, the British businessman in Journey Into Fear (1966). Moreover, while Grotrian, the embittered Russian scientist is introduced to readers as an expert marketeer of the seeds of a new strain of poppy in A Stench of Poppies (1978), the drug-trafficking is carried out by Kurdish nomads in southern Turkey as they illegally pass through the Syrian border in Istanbul (1965).
Although a new century may provide new images through significant historical, political and economic changes, earlier images still remain influential with a new interpretation or application. The images of Turkey which stem from the Ottoman period something that will be discussed later in this chapter under headings such as the Crusades, the Fall of Constantinople, the Greek War of Independence, the Crimean War were also carried into the twentieth century.
When Jorge Luis Borges visited Turkey in the early 1980s he encountered a disappointing contradiction between what had previously been said and written about Turkey and what he actually observed in Istanbul. He comments:
We think of a cruel country. This notion dates from the Crusades, which were the most cruel enterprise in recorded history, and the least condemned. We think of Christian hatred, perhaps not inferior to equally fanatical Islamic hatred. In the West, we note the lack of a great Turkish name among these Ottomans. The sole name to remain with us is that of Suleiman the Magnificent ( e solo, in parte, vidi 'il Saladino) (42).
The impact of such historical stereotypes could still be perceived in the 1980s. When Christie Davies examines Turkey within the context of the European Community, he mentions the difficulties of its membership referring, as one of the handicaps, to the prevalent influence of the previous adverse images upon twentieth century European public opinion and adds:
The fearful image of the Turk and the Moor even reached England where many a British pub bears the name and the fierce turbaned and bearded sign of 'The Turkish Head.' In its last phase the Turkish Empire saw the massive persecution and slaughter of Greeks, Bulgarians and Armenians which caused immense moral indignation in Christian and humanitarian order in Northern Europe and especially in Britain (43).
There are a great many references to earlier historical figures, stories and places throughout twentieth century writing about Turkey with tangible emphases on certain figures of notoriety and tyranny such as the harem Eunuch as well as on depressing settings like the Seraglio with the associated stories about the abuse or executions of harem wives.
Despite the fact that travellers such as Philip Glazebrook, Rose Macaulay, Frederick Prokosch and William Dalrymple visited Turkey in different periods of the twentieth century, they still appear to have been preoccupied with particular evocations of the past, and refer to the 'unusual' or 'exotic' from the texts of their predecessors. For example, although he travelled to Turkey in the early 1980s, Philip Glazebrook states that: 'It was Turkey's past that I was interested in, the 'past' which was the contemporary scene to nineteenth-century travellers' (Journey to Kars, 86).
Some travellers of different educational backgrounds such as Eric Newby, Philip Glazerook, Paul Theroux and Mary Lee Settle, and archaeologists and historians in particular, such as William Dalrymple often embellish their accounts with quotations from previous travellers or other sources ranging from historical texts to individual reminiscences.
Walking from Edinburgh to Jerusalem following the route of the
First Crusade, and then that of Marco Polo, in his In Xanadu: A Quest
(1989), Dalrymple refers to well-known figures who travelled to the region
before, such as Marco Polo and Lord Byron in order to be more effective
and convincing in his re-presentation of previous images mainly related
to Turkish brutality:
Marco Polo came to the Holy Sepulchre in the autumn of 1271. Jerusalem had finally been lost to Islam thirty years previously, and the Sepulchre would have been semi derelict when Polo saw it. The Turks who captured Jerusalem in 1244 had butchered the priests inside, desecrated the tombs of the Kings of Jerusalem, and burned the church to the ground (In Xanadu, 6).
In another part of his book, as he tries to draw a general panorama of twentieth-century Turkish people by emphasising their oddities, and he refers to Byron's ironic remark about the Turks:
I see not much difference between ourselves and the Turks, save that we have foreskins and they have none, that they have long dresses and we short, and that we talk much and they little. In England the vices in fashion are whoring and drinking, in Turkey sodomy and smoking, we prefer a girl and a bottle, they a pipe and a pathic. They are sensible people (In Xanadu, 63).
Another indirect reference to Byron indicating antipathy towards the Turks is conveyed through an Arab character as he remarks that: 'Mr. Byron didn't like the Turks. Always he is fighting with the Arabs against the Turks who many years ago were enslaving the Arab people' (In Xanadu, 47).
Whilst he is apparently inspired by the previous travel writers, especially by those of the Victorian era, such as Alexander William Kinglake and Eliot Warburton, a similar stylistic attitude seems to be prevalent in Glazebrook's Journey to Kars (1984) when he reminds the reader on his first arrival in Athens before going on to Turkey, of Turkish brutality through quoting from Warburton:
Around this ruin [Jupiter Olympus ] was the profoundest silence, and it stood utterly alone...the only living creature a Turk, whose barbaric garb harmonised, to my mind at least, with the scene in which I found him. It was his ruthless race which had made Athens desolate (Journey to Kars, 28-9).
Eric Newby refers to previous travel accounts such as Corneille Le Brayn's Voyage au Levant (1725) and Edward Daniel Clarke's Travels in Various Countries of Europe, Asia and Africa (1816), and to some individual reminiscences of those who had been to Istanbul on different occasions, such as Master Thomas Dallam, a cockney organ-maker, sent to Constantinople in 1599 to erect in the Selamlik an hydraulic organ he had built. Newby also cites historical texts concerning the region such as Dimitrius Cantemir's History of the Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire (1734) and Francis McCullach's The Fall of Abd-ul-Hamid (1910), while he refers to Voyage au Levant, which tells the tragic story of an 'unfortunate Venetian interpreter, a Signor Grellot, who, in about 1680, was hanged from his windows, which overlooked the gardens of the Grand Seraglio, for daring to gaze at Sultan Mehmed IV and his ladies through a telescope' (44). He relates brutal murder such as the following:
Ibrahim was kept prisoner in the Kafes from the age of two until he became sultan at the age of twenty-four. No wonder he was as mad as a hatter. At the end of his reign he was returned to it to be murdered by the deaf-mutes with slit tongues and punctured ear-drums which enabled them to resist any cries for mercy (On the Shores, 216).
In Turkish Reflections (1991), M.L. Settle does not only refer to earlier travellers such as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Alexander William Kinglake but she also refers to twentieth-century figures who, in the main, wrote about Istanbul in different ways:
We have heard about so much, to find an Istanbul I already thought I knew-my city of presuppositions-whispers and memoirs of pashas and harems and sultans and girls with almond eyes, the Orient Express of Agatha Christie, the spies of Eric Ambler, the civilised letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (Turkish Reflections, 37)
As can be understood from various implicit or explicit references
throughout, the characters' missionary expedition to Turkey in The Towers
of Trebizond is influenced by the previous figures who travelled to
and wrote about the region such as H.F.B. Lynch, Patrick Kinross, Talbot
Rice and Finlay. In other words, prior to her journey to Trebizond, Macaulay
had already been introduced to the history, culture and archaeology of
the city through some previous works as she notes in the book itself:
'I got to know Trebizond, and particularly the ruined citadel and palace, pretty well before I had done with it. There is all about it, with maps and plans, in a very large good book on Armenian travels by H.F.B. Lynch, who was there about sixty years ago, and a good description of Trebizond to-day, and all the Byzantine churches, in Patrick Kinross's Turkey book, and there is a large history of it in German, which is therefore not easy to read, and some good shorter histories, and all about the church painting, by Professor Talbot Rice, and the Empire of Trebizond has a long section in Finlay's History of Greece...Mr. H.F.B. Lynch, for instance, in the eighteen nineties, who had stayed in the city for a long time making explorations, maps and plans, and taking notes for a large and remarkable book, had then gone on into Armenia and had climbed Ararat. He had shown a good deal of sympathy, still legendary in Trabzon, for the then recently massacred Armenians. Lord Kinross too, who had been in Trabzon lately, had been thought to have too lively an interest in alleged Armenian church architecture' (Towers,.72-80).
The impact of these figures is emphasised in references on several occasions, as, for example 'one keeps remembering what Lynch says about Turkish women in his book - they appear conscious of some immense and inexplicable sin' (Towers, 111). Another reference to the history and geography of Trebizond is made through Finlay:
'The Empire of Trebizond has a long section in Finlay's History of Greece, but Finlay disapproved of Trapezuntines, and says at the end: "In concluding the history of this Greek state, we inquire in vain for any benefit that it conferred on the human race," for the tumultuous agitation of its stream, he said, did not purify a single drop of the water of life'(Towers, 72).
These references are made especially by Laurie, the narrator, usually in the form of a brief historical and religious synopsis in relation to a particular place visited in Turkey. At the beginning of the expedition when the group come to Troy, Laurie points out in reference to Father Chantry-Pigg that:
It seemed that his father, who had been a dean interested in St. Paul, had visited this place in 1880, in order to follow up St. Paul's doings there, and had said ever since that its ruins were among the most beautiful Roman ruins in the world, largely owing to being half buried in volonia oak woods, and having fine arches that were partly in the sea. This was what was said by most of the eighteenth and nineteenth century visitors, and many travellers (Towers, 31).
In another example, Laurie reads Charles's manuscript about Trebizond which seems to be very interesting and detailed to her, and she eventually infers from what she has already read that:
Charles also quoted things from the books of old travellers such as Bessarion in the 15th century, and Evliya Efendi in the 17th century, and various 19th century tourists, so that one got many views of Trebizond, how it had looked at different times, and he had put in bits from H.F.B. Lynch, and descriptions of church paintings from Professor David Talbot Rice, and a lot more, besides what he had invented himself, so that altogether it was a very interesting manuscript (Towers, 138-9).
Moreover, when she mentions the churches of Trebizond some of which have disappeared, she also refers to Charles's detailed information about them and states: ‘Charles had a list of a lot of them, and what state they are now in, and I could see that he had got it from Lynch and from David Talbot Rice and Patrick Kinross, and I thought he ought to have acknowledged these books’ (Towers, 146).
Discussing the art of travel and travel writing with regard to Theroux's accounts, Elton Glaser takes into account the writer's use of previous texts and authors such as Kipling, David McCullough, Arthur Morelet, William Kinglake, Henry James, and suggests that Theroux also frequently mentions writers or books connected with the country he happens to be travelling through (45).
Representations of Turkey in twentieth-century literature have not been exclusively generated in the twentieth century, but are the product of a long historical literary process because the vast majority of the texts has a historical context or attribution. In order to understand and appreciate twentieth century images, it is also necessary to demonstrate their historical background.
2-Mary Lee Settle, Turkish Reflections (New York:
Prentice Hall Press, 1991). Further reference to this work will be given
after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its title, 'Turkish Reflections'
3-William Dalrymple, In Xanadu: A Quest, 1st. pub. 1989 (London: Flamingo, 1990). Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its shortened title, 'In Xanadu'.
4-Christina Dodwell, A Traveller on Horseback, 1st. pub. !987 (London: Sceptre, 1988).
5-David Dodge, Talking Turkey (London: Arthur Barker, 1955).
6-Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond, 1st. pub. 1956 (London: Flamingo, 1990). Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its shortened title, 'Towers'.
7-Frederic Prokosch, The Asiatics, 1st pub. 1935 (London: Robin Clark, 1991). Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its title, 'The Asiatics'.
8-Turkey's entrance into the world struggle was the
direct result of the sending of the Liman Von Sanders mission to Turkey
in 1913, the signing of the alliance of August 2, 1914, and the passage
of the Goeben and Breslau through the Straits in August 1914.
Russia declared war on Turkey on November 4 1914, and Great Britain and France followed by declaring war the next day. From November 1914 to the end of October 1918, the Ottoman Empire was in open conflict with the Allies, having been brought into war by German military and naval command of the Turkish forces. As the British Prime Minister H.H. Asquith said: 'The Turkish Empire has committed suicide, and dug with its own hands its grave'. See War Speeches by British Ministers, 1914-1916 (London: 1917), pp. 55-6.
The significance of Turkey's entrance into the Great War would be difficult to overestimate. Immediately, the Ottoman Empire - whether in the region of the Straits, in Palestine and Syria, or in Mesopotamia - became one of the major theatres of the war. Great Britain alone employed more than one million men against the Turks. It has been suggested that the war was prolonged by two years on account of the decision of the Germans to force Turkey into the war. In the end Turkey's entrance into the struggle not only sealed the doom of the Ottoman Empire, but through the closure of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, and the consequent isolation of Russia, it almost brought the downfall of the empire of the Tsar. See: Harry N. Howard, The Partition of Turkey: A Diplomatic History 1913-1923 (New York: Howard Fertig, 1966), pp. 13-15. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the text or after footnotes, by mentioning its title, 'The Partition of Turkey'.
9-The first impetus for the campaign came from Russia,
which, to facilitate its campaign into eastern Anatolia, asked the British
to mount some kind of operation to divert the Ottomans. After considerable
debate the British decided in favour of an operation proposed by Churchill,
a naval expedition 'to bombard and take the Gallipoli Peninsula (the western
shores of the Dardanelles) with Constantinople as its objective.'
‘The first British squadron moved to the attack on February 19, 1915, expecting to take the Straits with ease and pass on to Istanbul; but the British were not aware that the Ottoman First Army, now led by Von Sanders, had mined the waterway and mounted strong batteries on the surrounding hills; hence a month went by with their objectives unfulfilled and three battleships lost. As a result, the operation was changed to include landings by British troops from Egypt starting on April 25, 1915, but again they were kept to the beaches by fierce Ottoman resistance, with heavy casualties, and as the year came to an end the War Cabinet decided to give up the entire operation. The attempt to take the Straits had failed. There were 213,980 casualties on the British side, and the Ottomans had 120,000 dead and wounded’. See: Stanford J. Shaw & Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Vol.II (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. 1977), pp. 317-8. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the text or footnotes, by mentioning its shortened title, 'History of the Ottoman Empire'.
10-’The Turks were the only one of the Central Powers
able to overturn the vindictive settlements imposed by the Allies following
World War I. Because Turkish resistance ultimately was led to success by
Kemal Ataturk, it has long been assumed that he created the country as
well. He did, indeed, do more than anyone else to create the Turkish Republic
on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, but he accomplished this by bringing
together elements of resistance that had already emerged. He co-ordinated
their efforts, expressed their goals, personified their ambitions, and
led them to victory’. See: History of the Ottoman Empire, p. 340.
On October 29, 1923, the National Assembly in Ankara proclaimed the Turkish Republic with the fundamental premise: 'Sovereignty belongs without reservation or condition to the nation. The system of administration rests on the principal of the people's personal and actual control of their destiny'. See: Nuri Eren, Turkey Today and Tomorrow (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1963), p. 20. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the text or footnotes, by mentioning its title, 'Turkey Today and Tomorrow'.
11-The success of the Turks against the Greeks in Asia
Minor enhanced the prestige of Mustapha Kemal, and on November I, 1922,
the Grand National Assembly, which had been constituted in Angora, passed
a resolution abolishing the Sultanate and separating from it the Caliphate,
which had hitherto been one of its most important attributes See: William
Miller, The Ottoman Empire and Its Successors 1801-1927 (London:
Frank Cass. 1966), pp. 555-6. Further reference to this work will be given
after quotations in the text or footnotes, by mentioning its shortened
title, 'Its Successors'.
Subsequent to the foundation of the Turkish Republic, there was a series of reforms under the presidency of Mustafa Kemal. On March 3, 1924, the Grand National Assembly decided to abolish the Caliphate, and to banish from the country all family members of the Caliph. More fundamental reforms took place in the law codes; in 1926 the country adopted the Swiss civil code, a penal code modelled on the Italian, and a commercial code modelled on the German and Italian example. Moreover, educational and cultural reforms were given particular attention in the years 1928 to 1933. See: Roderic H. Davison, Turkey: A Short History 2nd. ed. (England: The Eothen Press, 1988), pp. 129-35.
12-On October 19, 1939, Turkey entered a mutual assistance agreement with Britain and France. But it was arranged to prevent Turkish participation in a war unless the Republic's interests were directly involved, such as aggression by a European power in a war in the Mediterranean, in which case the Allies would help Turkey. See: History of the Ottoman Empire.
13-When the first democratisation process started with
the first multi-party election in Turkey in 1946, the single party era
which had been in power since the foundation of the Turkish Republic was
ended. Owing to radical changes in the country's politics and administration,
especially by the Democrat Party between 1950 and 1960, the Turkish Military
intervened several times in different ways.
I-On May 27, 1960, as the agitation in the streets reached a new peak, a group of officers led by Gursel, commanding the key military units in Istanbul and Ankara and using the students of the war academies, arrested Menderes[the prime minister], Bayar[the president], most other members of the cabinet along with many Democratic deputies. The remaining elements of the armed forces immediately declared their support. Martial law was imposed and the coup accepted throughout the country with very little opposition, even by those who continued to support the Menderes regime.
II-Abortive Coups: The first abortive coup of 22 February, 1962 was led by Colonel Talat Aydemir, Commandant of the War College. He had been a member of conspiratorial groups in the mid-fifties, but on 27 May he was in South Korea and was therefore unable to participate in the first coup or to play a role in the military regime that emerged...He disliked the results of the 1961 election and believed that the army ought to intervene. Talat Aydemir's second abortive coup attempt on the night of 20/21 May, 1963 was also unsuccessful.
III-Coup by Memorandum: On March 12, 1971, President Sunay and the chairman of both chambers received a memorandum signed by the chief of the General Staff Menduh Tagmac and the Commanders of the Land, Sea and Air Forces, acting on behalf of the armed forces. Then Prime Minister Demirel resigned. See Feroz Ahmad, The Turkish Experiment in Democracy 1950-1975 (London: C. Hurst & Loupay, 1977), p. 204. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the text or footnotes, by mentioning its shortened title, 'The Turkish Experiment'.
IV-The recent coup took place on September 12, 1980 as a result of political and economic instability as well as political terrorism with thousands of victims. This was also a military coup held by Kenan Evren, the Chief Commander of the General Staff and the senior military figures. It was ended in 1983 with a new democratic election.
From the moment it took over the government on September 1980, the National Security Council (composed of the five highest-ranking generals in the Turkish armed forces) made it clear that it intended eventually to return power to democratically elected civilian authorities. It made it equally clear, however, by words and deeds that it did not intend a return to the status quo ante. Rather the council aimed at a major restructuring of Turkish democracy to prevent a recurrence of the political polarisation, violence, and crisis that had afflicted the country in the late 1970s, and thus to make the military's continued involvement in politics unnecessary. The new constitution, Political Parties Law, and Electoral Law prepared by the council-appointed Consultative Assembly and made final by the council itself reflect these objectives and concerns of the military and indicate the extent to which Turkey's new attempt at democracy is intended to be different from its earlier democratic experiments. See: Ergun Ozbudun, ed. Perspectives on Democracy in Turkey (Ankara: Sevinç Matbaasi, 1988), pp. 25-6.
14-’The Cyprus problem, which caused strained relations
between Greece and Turkey in 1955, was solved temporarily in February 1959
by an agreement among Turkey, Greece, and Britain, concluded in Zurich
and London, by which Cyprus became an independent republic (August 16,
1960), with the protection for the Turkish minority under the guarantee
of the three signatories, which were allowed to station small garrisons
on the island for that purpose. Turkey's position toward Cyprus after 1959
was to secure full implementation of that settlement. But most of the key
governmental positions on the island were controlled by Greeks, who also
managed to dominate trade and the economy and left only the worst lands
and positions to the Turks...
During the summer of 1967, new attacks on the Turkish minority led Demirel to attempt an agreement to safeguard their interests, but American pressure again prevented the kind of Turkish intervention that might have secured a solution, leaving a stalemate that allowed conditions to deteriorate further. The United States got Greece to withdraw its regular troops, but it substituted Greek officers sent as 'volunteers' to command the National Guard of Cyprus. In addition, with the Greek military dictatorship in control in Athens, General Grivas returned to Cyprus to organise support for a new move toward 'enosis'...
A new chapter in the Cyprus quarrel came in the summer of 1974 when the National Guard, under the leadership of its Greek army officers, carried out a coup that forced Makarios to flee and installed a regime led by the radical Greek nationalist Nikos Sampson, who declared his intention of bringing the island into union with Greece. The United Nations and United States attempted to resolve the situation peacefully once again, but their apparent intention of accepting the coup and, possibly, enosis, as a fait accompli and large-scale Greek massacres of the Turkish minority finally led Turkey to intervene with an expeditionary force that overwhelmed the National Guard and took control of the Northern part of the island’. See: History of the Ottoman Empire, pp. 430-1.
15-’Upon American political persistence and suppression...in
July 1971, Nihat Erim [Prime Minister] agreed to prohibit the cultivation
of the opium poppy after the 1972 crop was harvested. In return the United
States undertook to provide $35 million over a three-year period: $15 million
to compensate the poppy growers... and $20 million for investments to orient
poppy farmers to other crops’.
Erim's 'bargain' was an economic disaster for the cultivators, for as Harris has written, 'Poppy planters earned far more from this crop-even selling it legally to the state-than they could expect from other produce grown on their land; hence to restrict or abolish the crop would be an economic blow to the traditional producers.' Public reaction was one of shame and dismay: the government, most people believed, had succumbed to US pressure and 'bribery'; for that is how they understood the $35 million agreement. Thus in the country as a whole Erim's decision was very unpopular, one which all parties promised to overturn if they were elected to power in the 1973 general election. It was a decision only a government unconcerned about popular support or popular discontent could pass’. See: The Turkish Experience, pp. 418-9.
16-The Soviet Union's refusal in 1945 to renew the
1925 Treaty of Friendship without substantial concession from Turkey had
destroyed that link with the USSR. The Turkish government had begun to
seek closer ties with the United States and had succeeded in obtaining
military and economic assistance under the Truman Doctrine and the Marshal
‘Within six months, on March 12, 1947, President Harry Truman proclaimed to a joint session of Congress his now renewed programme of aid to Turkey and Greece. In truth, this was the announcement of the end of America's benevolent neutrality towards the spread of Soviet power in the world. The benefits of the Truman Doctrine, as the aid program came to be known, were twofold. The Turkish armed forces received the equipment they needed to bring them up to date. At the same time, Turkish diplomacy obtained a boost and Turkey's postwar psychological isolation ended.
On February 15, 1952, Turkey was accepted as fully fledged member of NATO. The Eastern Mediterranean NATO Command was quartered in Izmir, and planning of the armies of the alliance. The Turkish armed forces willingly accepted their strategic integration with other allied armies’. See: Turkey Today and Tomorrow, p. 389.
For more information about the political, economic and historical events which have already taken place in twentieth-century Turkey, also see: Andrew Mango, Turkey (London: Thames and Hudson, 1968); Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (London: Oxford Univ. Press. 1961); Claire Sterling, The Terror Network (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1981); E.W.F. Tomlin, Life in Modern Turkey (London: Thomas Nelson and Sons., 1st pub. 1946); Geoffrey Lewis, Modern Turkey (London: Ernest Benn. 1974); Sir Harry Luke, The Making of Modern Turkey (London: Macmillan, 1936); Lord Kinros, Atatürk: The Rebirth of A Nation (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1964); Richard D. Robinson, The First Turkish Republic (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Univ. Press. 1963).
17-Noted in Miss Edith P. Stickney's Southern Albania or Northern Epirus in European International Affairs 1912-1923 (Stanford Univ. Press, 1926) and in C.A. Chekrezi, Albania Past and Present (New York: 1919).
18-Owing to various consecutive defeats in different
parts of the Ottoman Empire stretching from North Africa to the Balkans
from the mid-nineteenth century, Ottoman Turkey was designated as the 'Sick
Man of Europe' by various writers, politicians as well as historians. Describing
the country as the 'Sick Man', they generally referred to its instability
and some weaknesses in politics, administration and economy which reached
its peak in the closing years of the last century and the first two decades
of the twentieth century. See: Richard D. Robinson, The First Turkish
Republic (Massachusetts: Harvard Univ. Press, 1963), p.2.
The early decades of the twentieth century were a time of chaos for the Turks - an era in which men and governments rose and fell. Over much of Turkey there was no really effective rule. Between 1908 and the 1918 armistice there were twenty-four changes of cabinet in Istanbul. See: T.S. Tunaya, Turkiye'de Siyasi Partiler (Political Parties in Turkey) (Istanbul, 1952), p.165.
In 1907, the British Embassy in Istanbul reported to London that 'at the present time, the whole of the provincial administration is apparently falling into a state of a complete anarchy. Taxes have been refused; recruits have been refused. Valis (i.e., provincial governors have been driven out, sedition has been preached almost openly'. See: “The Near East” in British Documents on the Origins of the War, vol. V (London: His Majesty's Stationary Office, 1928), p. 34.
19-Wayne S. Vucinich, The Ottoman Empire: Its Record and Legacy (London: Penguin, 1986), p. 200.
20-Richard D. Robinson, The First Turkish Republic (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Univ. press. 1963), pp. 1-2.
21-’The treaty of Sevres (August 10,1920) was very harsh, and would have left Turkey helpless and mutilated, a shadow state living on the sufferance of the powers and peoples who were annexing her richest provinces. It was far more severe than that imposed on a defeated Germany, and was received in Turkey with a national day of mourning’. See: Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (London: Oxford Univ. Press. 1961), p. 241.
22-John Buchan, Greenmantle (London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1916) Ist Pub., p. 17. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its title, 'Greenmantle'.
23-Reeva S. Simon, The Middle East in Crime Fiction (New York: Lilian Barber Press, 1989), p. 20. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts or footnotes, by mentioning its shortened title, 'The Middle East'.
24-Dennis Wheatley, The Eunuch of Stamboul (London: Arrow Books, 1960), pp. 24. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its title, 'The Eunuch of Stamboul'.
25-Eric Ambler, The Mask of Dimitrios, Ist pub. 1939 (London:Fontana\Collins, 1966), p. 22.
26-Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express, Ist. pub. 1934 (London: Fontana, 1956).
27-Graham Greene, Stamboul Train, Ist. pub. 1932 (London: Penguin, 1975), pp. 196-214. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its title, 'Stamboul Train'.
28-Paul Fussell, Abroad: British Literary Travelling Between the Wars (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 175. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its shortened title, 'Abroad'.
29-Graham Greene, A World of My Own: A Dream and Diary (London: Reinhardt Books, 1992), p. 15. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its shortened title, 'A Dream and Diary'.
30-Charles Forsyte, Murder With Minarets (Leicester: Ulverscroft, 1990). 1st. pub. London: Cassell, 1968.
31-Charles Forsyte, Diplomatic Death (London: Cassell, 1961).
32-John Dos Passos, Orient Express (New York: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1922), p.13. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its title, 'Orient Express'.
33-Macaulay set up her journey to Turkey during the early 1950s; the decade of intensive cold-war diplomacy as well as military conflicts in different parts of the world such as the Korean War (1952) and the early Vietnam conflict started with the first French-Indochina War (1946-54). It was also the decade when Turkey had a strategic position in the region as a bordering country of Russia, whose political and military power had already invaded various neighbouring countries. Moreover, siding with the West (America) rather than the East (Russia) in terms of political administration, economy and military by being a member of NATO and having an active involvement in the Korean War strained Turco-Soviet relations, since then the country has been considered by the West in the position of preventing further Soviet expansion to the Middle East as well as to Europe via the Straits.
34-Alice R. Bensen, Rose Macaulay (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1969), pp.141-2. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the texts, by mentioning its title 'Rose Macaulay'.
35-When Julian Rathbone worked in Ankara as a teacher in the early 1960s he also visited different places in the country which he later employed as settings for his novels in which are: 1-Diamonds Bid (London: Joseph, 1967; New York: Walker, 1967): A novel about a coup attempt in the capital city of Turkey starting with an innocent British teacher's witnessing a bribe change hands in a police station. 2-Hand Out (London: Joseph, 1968, New York: Walker, 1968): A story of a British spy travelling through Turkey to photograph Soviet installations. 3-With My Knives I Know I'm Good (London: Joseph, 1969; New York: Putham, 1970): The brother of an Azerbaijani knife thrower who works for KGB tries to get mineral information from an American Jew working for the UN stationed in Ankara. 4-Trip Trap (London: Joseph, 1972; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1972): The story of murder, drug-trafficking and stolen artefacts. 5-Kill Cure (London: Joseph, 1975; New York: St. Martin's Press., 1975): Nur Bey investigates how a British girl became involved with a group posing as a Bangladesh relief mission. See: The Middle East, p. 181.
36-The single-party period in Turkish political history was ended by the overall success of the Democrat Party in 1950. As the party was overthrown by the military during the 1960 revolution in Turkey, their traditional mission as the right-wing conservatives in Turkish politics was taken over by the new-born Justice Party in 1961. See: History of the Ottoman Empire and The Turkish Experiment.
37-U.N. Press Section, Office of Public Information, Press Release SOC/NAR/199, July 21, 1976 in Washington Post (July 5, 1976).
38-Ivor Drummond, A Stench of Poppies (London: Michael Joseph, 1978). Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the text, by mentioning its title, 'A Stench of Poppies'.
39-A. Phyllis Whitney, Black Amber (London: Robert Hale, 1965). Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the text, by mentioning its title, 'Black Amber'.
40-Nick Carter, Istanbul (London: Universal pub. and Distribution Corporation, 1965). Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the text, by mentioning its title, 'Istanbul'.
41-Joan Fleming, When I Grow Rich (London: Collins, 1962), p. 109.
42-Borges died on June 14, 1986). Evelyn Fishburn and
Psiche Hughes, A Dictionary of Borges (London: Duckworth, 1990),
p.270. ( Borges 1899-1986)
The Atlas was first published in Argentina in 1984. Borges looks quite old in the photos in the book, so I would say he went to Istanbul circa 1983. Jorge Luis Borges, Atlas, trans. by. Anthony Kerrigan (England: Penguin Books, 1984), p.18.
43-Christie Davies, “Time to Talk Turkey” in New European, Summer 1989 p.24.
44-Eric Newby, On the Shores of the Mediterranean, 1st. pub. 1984 (London: Picador, 1985), p.209. Further reference to this work will be given after quotations in the text, by mentioning its shortened title, 'On the Shores'.
45-Elton Glaser, “The Self-Reflexive Traveler: Paul
Theroux on the Art of Travel and Travel Writing” in The Centennial Review,
vol. 33, 1989, p.200. Further reference to this work will be given after
quotations in the texts, by mentioning its shortened title, 'The Self-Reflexive