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"Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy(published in German last year and to be published in several languages), Temelkuran walks us along a hazardous, unsanctioned route from modern Turkey’s founding in 1923, its history of military coups to the agenda and modus operandi of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Along the road she astutely unpicks politically-led tendencies that resonate globally, including a cultural rejection of learning and expertise, and the construction of the Other as a source of fear. With more than 300 people killed and at least 6,000 detained in Turkey following the failed coup on 15 July, her no-punches-pulled analysis and resonant anecdotes read like an essential primer for interpreting the next chapter in the country’s unfolding history."
Hettie Judah, Frieze magazine.
"We’re on the run. Barreling south in a white car at a hundred and forty kilometers an hour. I’m in the back. On my left a woman with a yellow wig aslant on her head, as still as stone. On my right a bald woman wearing a white headscarf, her leg bouncing up and down. An elderly one-eyed man is at the wheel. An old grey-haired woman dressed in lilac silk is riding shotgun with her face to the wind, without a care in the world.
The bald woman says, “Where are we going?”
The old woman, “South.”
Angry, the bald woman digs in:
“Just how far south?”
The old woman replies:
“Way down south.”
Not long ago I was about to make my way back to Istanbul. Now I’m on the brink of the most terrifying and wonderful trip I’ve ever taken. I remember how it all began and to this day I still have a hard time believing it ever really happened."
Translation: Alex Dawe
From the Armenian communities of Venice Beach and Paris, to Turkey and Armenia, Deep Mountain is a nuanced and moving exploration of the living history and continuing dispute on the Armenian genocide. Encountering writers, thinkers and activists from across the Turkish-Armenian divide, Ece Temelkuran weaves together an absorbing account of the role of national myths and memories, and how they are sustained and distorted over time, both within Turkey and Armenia, as well as among the vast Armenian diasporas of France and America.
Deep Mountain is both a brilliant, personal exploration of one of the most enduring and intractable issues of our time, and an illuminating look at the part nationalism plays in the way we see ourselves and others.
“I must wash my eyes in the light. For, every eye that runs to the light
learns to repose within itself, to wash itself
with its own water.
Just like swans, who must learn
to rest their necks within their own bodies…”