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A Coup in Turkey Reviews

A Coup in Turkey by Jeremy Seal

A Coup in Turkey: A Tale of Democracy, Despotism and Vengeance in a Divided Land

Jeremy Seal

4.00 out of 5

4 reviews

Imprint: Chatto & Windus
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 4 Feb 2021
ISBN: 9781784741754

The most dramatic, revealing and little-known story in Turkey's history - which illuminates the nation 'Through the spellbinding career of a single, ill-fated leader, Jeremy Seal illuminates a bitterly divided country' Colin Thubron 'Read this book if you're interested in Turkey.

4 stars out of 5
Colin Freeman
6 Mar 2021

" offers a cautionary insight into the country’s modern-day divides"

Still, while I doubt it will delight the Turkish tourist board, this book offers an excellent historical lens through which to view the country’s political landscape. It’s also a reminder that whatever the current rows in Europe are over Islam’s role in public life, that same row has raged far longer – and harder – in Turkey.


4 stars out of 5
Justin Marozzi
28 Feb 2021

"(an) excellent, occasionally disturbing and very original book"

A travel writer with a nose for a story, Seal tracks down the descendants of some of the protagonists and includes a fascinating interview with Menderes’s prison guard, a soldier who sneaked surreptitious photographs of his famous charge...

By the end of this excellent, occasionally disturbing and very original book, the reader may wonder whether something far worse may one day be coming Erdogan’s way.

4 stars out of 5
30 Jan 2021

"Seal’s work is an excellent addition to any Turkey bookshelf"

Menderes was so scorned by Turkey’s secularists that his name was erased from public life for decades, although for religious Turks his death was a tragedy and his popularity never waned. More recently President Erdogan, the target of a coup attempt in 2016, has restored Menderes’s honour and often plays on the enduring affection for him by claiming that he is continuing his legacy. Yet as Jeremy Seal, a travel writer with a long-held fascination for Turkey, reveals in his enlightening book A Coup in Turkey, Menderes’s story defies the simple political messages that are projected on to it.

4 stars out of 5
29 Jan 2021

"a compelling account of Menderes’ rise and fall"

it also features engaging interviews with characters from the Menderes era, including a young military officer, now an old man, who photographed the former leader at his most vulnerable as he guarded his prison cell.  The book’s greatest strength is as a testament to the deep seam of authoritarianism that runs through Turkey’s history, a reminder that Erdogan is a symptom as well as a cause of the country’s current problems.