This book stands at the point where actuality and legend converge in a land as old as time. From it extends an arid landscape upon which are inscribed the stories of peoples, civilizations, ideas that enslave and beliefs that liberate. Anatolia Junction weaves together three narratives: that of Fred A. Reed’s early winter journey through high Anatolia following in the footsteps of Said Nursi, the Kurdish mystic; that of the life and times of this enigmatic holy man who served in the Ottoman intelligence service, and paid for his refusal to bow to Ataturk with a lifetime of imprisonment; and that of hidden Turkey, of an Islamic community torn between political involvement with an all-powerful military regime, and flight from the political arena.
From an empty grave in Urfa, Fred A. Reed guides us eastward, to Erzurum and to Van, to the Kurdish mountain village where Said Nursi was born, then on to Diyarbakir, the city of black basalt and to Mardin, city of ochre and saffron, doubling back between stages to Istanbul. The journey ends where it began, in Urfa, city of prophets.
Anatolia Junction is the third volume in Fred A. Reed’s travels through the past and present of the Middle East, the Balkans and now, Asia Minor. Today, he concludes, Turkey’s Islamists are reappropriating the culture and beliefs that 70 years of secular fundamentalism have been unable to eradicate. Picking up where his prophetic Salonica Terminus left off, Reed proves once again that the violent turmoil of this region is an enactment of the Ottoman wars of succession, and is to be seen from a Southern and Eastern perspective, not from the West which continues to deny that these wars actually exist.
About the author
International journalist and award-winning literary translator Fred A. Reed is also a respected specialist on politics and religion in the Middle East. Anatolia Junction, his acclaimed work on the unacknowledged wars of the Ottoman succession, has been translated in Turkey, where it enjoys a wide following. Shattered Images, which explores the origins of contemporary fundamentalist movements in Islam, has also been translated into Turkish, and into French as Images brisées (VLB éditeur, Montréal).
After several years as a librarian and trade union activist at the Montreal Gazette, Reed began reporting from Islamic Iran in 1984, visiting the Islamic Republic thirty times since then. He has also reported extensively on Middle Eastern affairs for La Presse, CBC Radio-Canada and Le Devoir.
A three-time winner of the Governor General’s Award for translation, plus a nomination in 2009 for his translation of Thierry Hentsch’s Le temps aboli, Empire of Desire. Reed has translated works by many of Québec’s leading authors, several in collaboration with novelist David Homel, as well as by Nikos Kazantzakis and other modern Greek writers.
Reed worked with documentarist Jean-Daniel Lafond on two documentary films: Salam Iran, a Persian Letter and American Fugitive. The two later collaborated on Conversations in Tehran (Talonbooks, 2006). He is currently working on a memoir. Fred A. Reed resides in Montréal.
“Anatolia Junction succeeds in showing readers in the West that Islam is not a monolith, but ‘a rich and complex mosaic.’”
— Canadian Book Review Annual
Other titles by Fred A. Reed
The Green Chamber
Zora, A Cruel Tale
Takeover in Tehran ebook
The Inside Story of the 1979 U.S. Embassy Capture
Shattered Images ebook
Then We Were One ebook
Then We Were One
Imperial Canada Inc.
Legal Haven of Choice for the World's Mining Industries
A Covenant of Salt e-book
Empire of Desire
The Abolition of Time