Writing Turkey in British Literary and Travel Narratives (1914-1945)

Location: Turkey (main site), Britain (additional research)

Year (s): 2017-2019

Research Fellow: Dr. Peter Cherry

Funding: BIAA

Under BIAA’s SRI (s):

  • Anglo-Turkish Relations in the Twentieth Century
  • Migration, minorities and regional identities
  • Cultural heritage, society and economy in Turkey



This project asks how British literary and travel texts engage with the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the socio-political transformations of early Republican-era Turkey. Drawing on a mixture of high-brow and popular literary and travel narratives by figures such as John Buchan, Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, Rose Macaulay, Harold Nicolson, Graham Greene, Gertrude Bell and Eric Ambler, the project focuses on themes such as gender/sexuality, religion, cultural exchange, and race and ethnicity. Through these, I examine the impact that the end of the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire (frequently an ‘Orient’ against which Britain defined itself in counter-image) and the modernising and secularising reforms of the Turkish Republic had upon literary and textual representations of ‘Turks’ and Turkey.


Belongs to;
Contemporary Turkish Society & Politics
History, Social & Political Sciences
International & Regional Relations

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