A Fez of the Heart by Jeremy Seal
Travels around Turkey in Search of a Hat

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Synopsis

This is Jeremy Seal's quest, by means of a fez, for the heart of a country culturally and spiritually at odds with herself. The fez's opposing associations - both revered Eastern-Islamic headdress and banal tourist souvenir - exactly reflects Turkey's cultural faultline. While Turkey pays court to the EC and becomes the latest mecca for mass-tourism, the resurgent voices of Islamic traditionalism and Kurdish separatism are stark reminders of the country's complex cultural topography.
 

About Jeremy Seal

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Jeremy Seal has written for numerous English newspapers. His first book, A Fez of the Heart, was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and short-listed for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. His second book, The Snakebite Survivor's Club, was a New York Public Library Exceptional Book of the Year. He lives in Bath, England, with his wife and daughters.
 
Published January 13, 1995 by Picador. 304 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Travel, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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So thoroughly banished was this headgear in pursuit of a modern, secular society (hangings were not uncommon in the enforcement of the ban), that Seal is only able to locate some fezzes in the dusty backrooms of a handful of hatmakers, in an Istanbul museum (where Seal, customarily the only visit...

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Publishers Weekly

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For Ataturk, the maroon felt headgear foisted on Turkey's turbaned Ottoman precursors by a similarly reform-minded ruler, Mahmud II, just 100 years earlier, symbolized Turkey's backwardness--unlike the European hats Ataturk himself favored.

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