At a well attended meeting on Thursday Oct 3rd, Tarvin Meeting Point took an in-depth look at Turkey. It was the third country studied as part of their Country/Fiction series, the previous countries being Chile and Nigeria. Turkey was chosen because of its pivotal role between the Christian west and the Muslim east and also because there are a number, albeit a small number, of Turkish authors whose books are translated into English.
Meeting Coordinator Margaret Poole said "We have found that we can get much more out of a novel if we have some idea of the culture it comes from and it is always interesting to see the world from a completely different viewpoint."
The subjects that were researched by individual members were;
The early history of Turkey, the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, the influence of Kemal Ataturk in the founding of the modern Turkish Republic, the complex and long-standing negotiation between Turkey and the E.U., the changing role of women in Turkey and the rise of mass tourism. The discussion about Turkish food and drink was unfortunately not accompanied by any samples!
Members were interested to discover, for example, that the battle that finally halted the Ottomans expansion into Europe was fought not by the Bospherus but outside Vienna, and that Turkey had been talking about a formal relationship with the European Community since as early as 1964.
Coincidentally, BBC 2 is starting a series on the Ottoman Empire on Sunday October 6th
The next meeting of Tarvin Meeting Pointwill be on Thursday October 17th when the group will look at the history and culture of the global Gypsy population. For more information call Sue on 01829 74196 and see the Autumn programme.
Editor's note:. In case you thought Tarvin had a microclimate the picture is the BBQ in July- not the October meeting!