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BIAA Condolences Message for the Death of David Barchard

BIAA Condolences Message for the Death of David Barchard

The BIAA is sad to report the death of a long-standing member, David Barchard, on 25th December. He was one of the UK’s most knowledgeable and respected authorities on Turkey, who was for a time a BIAA Council member and a valued, critical friend of the Institute since the 1970s. He was a buoyant presence at the fourth workshop, in Istanbul in 2019, of the BIAA’s From Enemies to Allies project, tracing Turkish-British relations from 1914 to 1960. He can be seen with the participants of this workshop below. Governments and politicians, as well as learned institutions and societies, repeatedly benefited from his advice and briefings. David, a history graduate of St John’s College, Oxford, first came to know Turkey through a spell teaching English in Zonguldak, and began then to acquire a profound knowledge of the country and its people, its language and history, and its social and political complexities. He was a staunch supporter of the secular Turkish Republic. Amid his main occupation as a journalist – he was for many years the Turkey correspondent of the Economist – and freelance writer, which led to books that included his dissection of the Polly Peck fraud scandal and analysis of Turkey’s relations with the EU. He never abandoned his other historical enthusiasms for the history of late antiquity, Byzantium and the Ottoman world, about which he also published extensively. Among his many articles is an appreciation of the BIAA’s second director, Michael Gough. We send our condolences to his family and innumerable friends in Turkey, the UK and beyond. 

Photo from the BIAA’s From Enemies to Allies 4th Workshop. David Barchard stands in the front row, three people from the right, next to our Chair, Stephen Mitchell. 

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