Expat Harem

TBT, speaking at Microsoft HQ Turkey to the inaugural meeting of Turkish Women's International Network

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Watch the talk here, and all the talks by members of the network that aspires to become the most impactful network focusing on women in Turkey and abroad. TRWIN collaborates with companies, NGOs and individuals to amplify our collective impact and empower women to realize their potential.

I've been pleased to serve as a member of the Advisory Board of Turkish WIN since its inception.

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TBT, speaking at The Commonwealth Club & signing my book

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This talk "The Rise of Turkey" was moved to a larger room (about 100 in the audience and live-streaming the podcast to Commonwealth Club members everywhere) and we ran out of books to sign right away. 

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I was joined on the panel by:

  • Steven West, Ph.D., Fulbright Scholar to Turkey; Professor of Turkish Studies and Cross Cultural Communication
  • Bonnie Joy Kaslan, Honorary Consul General, Turkish Republic, S.F. Bay Area
  • Joel Brinkley, Professor of Journalism, Stanford University; Foreign Affairs Columnist; Former Pulitzer Prize Winning Foreign Correspondent, The New York Times — Moderator

Amidst the turmoil of the Arab Spring, Turkey has arisen as a powerful force in the Middle East. The distinguished panel will discuss the nation's culture and its sometimes bitter past, the growing influence of religion in Turkey, and her frayed alliances. In addition, the panelists will discuss how Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's dynamic prime minister, is becoming one of the most powerful voices in the troubled region.

You can listen to the podcast  here .

You can listen to the podcast here.

TBT, early critical reviews of Expat Harem

These reviews were for a pre-release version of the book in December 2004.

The Expat Harem promises a world closed and sacrosanct, morphing its occupants into a new hybrid of East and West.”

    --Alev Croutier, Turkish-American author of international bestseller Harem: The World Behind the Veil

“Funny, moving and unusual, the essays in this collection transcend postcard views and prejudice to show the rich cultural tapestry of Turkish society.”

    --Nicole Pope, co-author of Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey and correspondent for Le Monde

“An extraordinary collection of women trying to make sense of their own lives through another culture. From the disillusioned missionary to the lady roustabout, what unites them is not their backgrounds or personalities but affection for an adopted Turkish homeland. The entrance to the harem is ajar. An addictive set of insights.”

    --Andrew Finkel, author of Turkish State, Turkish Society and longtime correspondent in Turkey who has worked for Time magazine, CNN and the Times of London


"Contrary to common misperceptions of Turkey as daunting and dangerous, Tales from the Expat Harem reveals the country’s warm Mediterranean culture. This peek through the lattice-work into the Turkish lives of foreign-born women exposes their encounters with the deep-seated gentility of Turks. A must-read for anyone who thinks all Muslim cultures are identical." 

    --Jennifer Lawler, author of Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire, and the Dojo Wisdom series

“In the harem, Ottoman women could take off their veils and tell their stories. Accomplished modern women in Tales from the Expat Harem tell us much more. Varied, absorbing personal adventures reveal today's Turkey--modern and familiar, traditional and exotic--with a depth, sincerity and delight found nowhere else. They fling open the doors of an unknown world and let us see everything. I've been waiting a long time for this book!”
    --Tom Brosnahan, veteran Berlitz, Frommer’s and Lonely Planet guidebook author, originator of Lonely Planet Turkey, founder of the Turkey Travel Planner website and author of travel memoir Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea 

“A most enjoyable book. Mixing humor with sharp insight into Turkish society, family, and the role of women, it encourages us to open our hearts to this great nation.”
    --Charlotte McPherson, author of Culture Smart! Turkey

"These women have done such a good job, even if the Turkish government spent millions of dollars on public relations it couldn't achieve the same impact that this book will."

    --Nazire Kalkan, political reporter for premiere Turkish newsweekly magazine Tempo

“Charming, warm-hearted and vivid, Expat Harem is not only a significant contribution to the understanding of Turkish life and culture, but also provides a compelling insight into the hearts and minds of foreign women who come to Turkey for love, work or travel. Their profound soul-searching makes for a definite must-read for everyone pondering the question of what it is we call 'home'.” 

    --Stine Jensen, literary critic for Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and author of Mijn hondvis, mijn moskeetj:Een liefde in Turkije, a book about love between Turks and Europeans