“It was only when Americans showed interest in our traditional arts that middle-class Turks decided to take a closer look.”
On Turkey’s Recent Twitter Ban
I discovered Twitter in 2007 when it became a news item on technology websites. I used to check those sites every morning like an obsessive bird watcher. I was writing the technology column at a Turkish newspaper and Twitter seemed like a story I could sell at the news meeting. After pitching it as the next big internet thing I realized—like many before me—that I had failed to answer questions about what exactly Twitter was. It was only two years later, while doing my military service in an Anatolian town filled with bird-song, that I learned Twitter had finally taken off in Turkey. Celebrities had made it their nest and fans followed. Journalists hid themselves behind avatar-shaped trees to listen to gossip, and found a lot of it. Turkey’s literati adapted to it, too, and the Turkish literary conversation began taking a new, twittery form.
Letters: A free exchange of ideas is essential for democracy, as well as for creativity, empathy and tolerance
I am so happy to announce that my work will be represented by Laurence Laluyaux at Rogers, Coleridge & White, the agents of such great writers as Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Colm Toibin, Anne Enright, Hanif Kureishi, Adam Thirlwell, Zadie Smith, Nick Hornby, Philipp Meyer and Kevin Powers.
I wrote an essay on Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s great satire of Turkish modernization, The Time Regulation Institute, for Guernica Magazine. (The New Inquiry linked to the piece in its Sunday Reading list.)