Christopher de Bellaigue was The Economist's Turkey correspondent in the early 2000s. His new book "Rebel Land" explores how Asia Minor went from being "the most chaotically cosmopolitan place on earth" to a decidedly homogeneous nation-state.
Christopher de Bellaigue was Turkey correspondent for The Economist during the early 2000s. He lived a comfortable life in the Galata neighborhood of Istanbul, in a smart top-floor apartment with a panoramic view of the Bosphorus.
Almost without realizing it, he had come to adopt the orthodox Turkish view on the key issues facing the country, paying little attention to the marginal voices of the Turkish liberals who argued that for Turkey to emerge as a full and mature democracy it would have to “come to terms” with its past.
However, spurred by negative responses to a piece he wrote for the London Review of Books on Turkish-Armenian relations, de Bellaigue decided to embark on a journey of discovery in Eastern Anatolia, to “confront the story of how Asia Minor had gone from being perhaps the most chaotically cosmopolitan place on earth to a declaredly homogenous nation state".
Date created : 2013-04-03