Confirmed Turkophile, Lisa Morrow, hails from Oz and first visited Turkey in 1990. A three month stay in the village of Göreme set among the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, changed the course of her life and eventually led her to settle in Turkey full time. Now based in Istanbul, Lisa writes about her observations of Turkish life in her blog and her books and I recently had the opportunity to read Lisa’s second book, ‘Exploring Turkish Landscapes, Crossing Inner Boundaries’. This is my tuppence worth.
‘Exploring Turkish Landscapes’ is a collection of essays which the author, Lisa Morrow, uses to illustrate her journey through the cultural kaleidoscope of a country she fell head over her designer heels with a quarter of a century ago. Vividly described, each essay is an evocative narrative about an aspect of contemporary Turkish life. Taken as whole, the book shines a light on the traditions and tensions of a society that is ‘less western than eastern, yet at times both and something more’, as the author herself puts it. Her observations of family life with its time-worn rituals and rigid social etiquette – both stifling and comforting at the same time – are particularly illuminating. The book confirms my own experience that it’s hard for a Turk to be different in Turkey, whatever that difference might be. The author writes about Turkey with huge affection but if I have one small niggle it’s that I wanted to learn a bit more about Lisa Morrow, the person, and how she felt about what she saw. Nevertheless, ‘Exploring Turkish Landscapes’ is a worthy companion for anyone wishing to discover the genuine article beyond the well-trodden tourist trails, bargain-bucket resorts and sanitised all-inclusives.