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  • Arcadia Books
  • Arcadia Books
  • Arcadia Books

Turkiye: Cycling Through a Country s First Century

Julian Sayarer

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Turkey, Armenia, European history, Middle Eastern history, Cycling, Travel writing

A cycling tour through the history and landscape of a country as it reaches its first century - by a winner of the Stanford Dolman Award for Travel Writing

"A deeply thoughtful, gripping and scrupulous book told in Sayarer's trademark style from the saddle and the roadside" CAROLINE EDEN

By a winner of the Stanford Dolman Award for Travel Writing

"The best travelogues should make you question your preconceptions of a place and force you to engage with what the author is saying. Turkiye succeeds on both fronts" Cycle Magazine

"We need writers who will go all the way for a story, and tell it with fire. Sayarer is a marvellous example" HORATIO CLARE

On the eve of its centenary year and elections that will shape the coming generations, Julian Emre Sayarer sets out to cycle across Turkiye, from the Aegean coast to the Armenian border.

Meeting Turkish farmers and workers, Syrian refugees and Russians avoiding conscription, the journey brings to life a living, breathing, cultural tapestry of the place where Asia, Africa and Europe converge. The result is a love letter to a country and its neighbours - one that offers a clear-eyed view of Turkiye and its place in a changing world. Yet the route is also marked by tragedy, as Sayarer cycles along a major fault line just months before one of the most devastating earthquakes in the region's modern history.

Always engaged with the big historical and political questions that inform so much of his writing, Sayarer uses his bicycle and the roadside encounters it allows to bring everything back to the human level. At the end of his journey we are left with a deeper understanding of the country, as well as the essential and universal nature of political power, both in Turkiye and closer to home.

"A persuasive corrective to western views of a place he loves" Guardian

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Julian Sayarer

JULIAN SAYARER cycled a half dozen times across Europe to his second nation of Turkiye before before breaking a world record for a circumnavigation by bicycle - riding 18,049 miles through 20 countries in 169 days and going on to write his debut book, Life Cycles (2014). He is the winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Writing Award for Interstate (2016), an account of hitchhiking through middle America, and is the author of Messengers (2016), All at Sea (2017), Fifty Miles Wide (2020) and Ondaatje Prize-longlisted Iberia (2021). Julian combines a background in political science to create a critically acclaimed travel writing style - politics at roadsides. In this 12mph view of the world in passing, he uses human stories and journeys to document global issues for a broad audience. His writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, the Guardian, Aeon Magazine, among others, and in numerous cycling publications.

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