A list of books set in Turkey

Whispers Beneath the Pines
by Carla Kovach

Twenty two year old classroom assistant Eve leaves England for sunny Turkey with her four childhood friends and Kevin; her first love who she hasn’t seen for six years. The group plan to have one last adventure before they have to finally succumb to adulthood. What they think will be a week of sun, parties and romance soon becomes more sinister when they take a trip to the mountainous province of Mügla for the day.

Eve soon realises that things are not what they seem. She sees that something isn’t right but her friends are oblivious. Can she convince them all before it’s too late?


Friendship, Love and Apple Tea
by Penny Canvin

Lou Granger is ready to enjoy her long-awaited month of relaxation and fun in the sun with her best friend Libby who now lives in Marmaris, Turkey. After eighteen months of living with Grant, her controlling boyfriend, Lou’s pretty much decided she needs to start a new life, and Libby’s advice and support is just what she needs.

But, instead of relaxation, she finds herself doing anything but. Dates with amorous waiters, constant contact from her ex and being cajoled into helping her friend start a Jeep Safari business all start to take their toll on her. And, when it appears that Libby’s business is being sabotaged, she begins to suspect Seth, the charismatic brother of Libby’s boyfriend.

But it’s hard to suspect a man you’re starting to have feelings for, until you find he has a secret life that would be impossible to live with.


Meet me at Marmaris Castle

With the help of best friend Beverley, forty-five-year-old primary school teacher Annie Henderson, is hanging up her beloved cardigans and rediscovering her sexy inner-siren. Why? Because of a proposition made ten years ago. Jason’s words have never left her. ‘Meet me at Marmaris Castle, ten years from now, seven in the evening.’ 

As she battles with killer heels, bikini waxes and ill-fitting underwear, she toils with the doubts that swim through her head. ‘Will he turn up? If he does turn up, will he like me? Will I like him?’ After all, her only dream is for a happy ever after. Corny, yes – but it’s true. She wants her dream man, she wants him to fulfil all her desires and most of all she wants him to be the one. Is ten years too much of a gap though? 

Meet me at Marmaris Castle is a romantic comedy full of mishap, awkwardness and severe problems with fashion. 


Dyzturbya: Should Have Stayed Home

 ‘Ludicro’ – one of the five novelettes in this Dyzturbya collection, is rather demonic and is set in Içmeler, more specifically, the abandoned buildings by Lovers’ Rock. Many thanks to the Lighthouse Restaurant in Içmeler who were happy to be mentioned by name. The other four horror/supernatural stories are set on the Greek Islands, in Cyprus and in London.  

Close the curtains, light the fire and take a voyage into Dyzturbya. Not for the faint-hearted or easily disturbed. A collection of holiday horror fiction, terrifying travels and violent vacations. 


Bone box
by Jay Amberg

On a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea in Turkey, an international team of archeologists discovers a stone box that first-century Jews used to rebury their dead. The box’s Aramaic inscription: Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Sophia Altay, the beautiful French-Turkish archeologist who heads the team, tries to keep the discovery secret until she can authenticate the ossuary. She knows that people will kill to obtain the relics—and to suppress the box’s other contents, documents that could alter Western history. 

Joseph Travers, an American sent to Turkey to evaluate the archeological dig, soon finds himself pulled into the web of betrayal, reprisal, and violence. In his journey through Istanbul’s mosques and palaces, the archeological sites around ancient Ephesus, and, ultimately, the strange and mystical terrain of Cappadocia, he comes to understand the epochal meaning of the bone box. 


Turkish Eye
by Beatrice James

Charlotte Davison has a successful career and a man who could give her everything. But she has no time for her mother who’s living her own dream, with a Bar owner in Kusadasi. Charlie is embarrassed by Dee who has a new group of friends with lovers young enough to be their sons. Then Charlie has a crisis and she needs her mother who is nowhere to be found. Charlie goes to Turkey to find out what has happened to her and the quest changes her life in ways she could never have expected. A serial killer is preying on the Aegean resort’s vulnerable female expats. There must be a link.


The Museum of Innocence
By Orhan Pamuk

A Strangeness in my Mind 
By Orhan Pamuk

The Sultan’s Seal
By Jenny White

The Final Summer of Vodka – The Marmaris Diaries
by Louise bell

Meet Lei. She is a Thirty something British wannabe socialite living in Marmaris, Turkey, looking for ‘the one’. Lei is plagued by the love/hate she has for her ex and how she wants to move on with her life. She sets a goal at the start of the diary to have found ‘the one’ by the end of the Summer season. Over the course of the Summer she meets some very interesting suitors, but with all the ‘Mr.Right Now’s’ clouding her judgment, is she able to find ‘the one’? Follow Lei, her dog Gucci and her team of ‘Mingers’ while they meander their way through the Summer’s ups and downs, Lei’s love of dear friends, the love of dear booze, all in the quest of plain and simple love. Please note that the age for this book is 16+.


The New Life
by Orhan Pamuk, Güneli Gün (Translator)

Affected by a book he reads, Osman, a young student, yearns for the new life it promises. He falls in love, abandons his studies, turns his back on home and family, and embarks on restless bus trips through the provinces. This is a wondrous odyssey, laying bare the rage of an arid heartland. In coffeehouses with black-and-white TV sets, on buses where passengers ride watching B-movies on flickering screens, in wrecks along the highway, in paranoid fictions with spies as punctual as watches and forsaken cultural objects instilled with poetry, the magic of Pamuk’s creation comes alive.


A Second Chance in Bodrum
by Nora Benson 

It is Esra’s last summer as a single lady. She is set to be married to Serhan, a man chosen by her parents and for the most part, she is ready. 

Or, so she thought until she sees Nikos, the boy who used to come by her family’s beach restaurant every summer with his family. Except, he’s no longer a boy but a handsome man, sculpted just like a Greek hero. She hasn’t seen him for the past eight years and yet, she still feels like he knows him so well and what’s more, she realizes she’s been in love with him all along. 

Is he worth breaking her engagement off for?


Secrets of a Summer Village
by Saskia Akyil 

Can coffee grounds tell your future? Will fate bring you to your soul mate thousands of miles from home? How will you know if it’s him? Would the evil eye dare stop two souls on their paths to each other? 
A last-minute opportunity to spend a month with a Turkish family on the Aegean coast drastically changes the course of seventeen-year-old Rachel Guo’s summer. This intercultural coming-of-age novel is full of exotic tastes, summer heat, promises kept and broken, and love. In a summer village on the western coast of Turkey, you’ll meet Rachel, who doesn’t know what she wants; Aylin, who doesn’t know if she wants the one who wants her; and Leyla, who knows who she wants, but doesn’t know if she’ll get him. Love and romance are secret pleasures in the summer village, which only make them more exciting.  

Travel with Rachel on her journey far from the comforts of home, to a place that will captivate her and leave her changed forever.


The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax (Mrs Pollifax #2)
by Dorothy Gilman

Emily Pollifax 60s has minutes to cancel weekly karate lesson and leave for Turkey. CIA Carstairs’ long-time asset Magda came in from the cold, was kidnapped by killer mole. On false murder charge, lacking passport, Emily flees cross country with new allies – family failure Colin Ramsey, huge piratical “wotthehell” Sandor, psychic gypsy Queen Anyeta.


Birds Without Wings
by Louis de Bernières

In his first novel since Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières creates a world, populates it with characters as real as our best friends, and launches it into the maelstrom of twentieth-century history. The setting is a small village in southwestern Anatolia in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. Everyone there speaks Turkish, though they write it in Greek letters. It’s a place that has room for a professional blasphemer; where a brokenhearted aga finds solace in the arms of a Circassian courtesan who isn’t Circassian at all; where a beautiful Christian girl named Philothei is engaged to a Muslim boy named Ibrahim. But all of this will change when Turkey enters the modern world. Epic in sweep, intoxicating in its sensual detail, Birds Without Wings is an enchantment.


Turkey with Stuff in: A Scrumptious Tale of Adventure and Just Deserts
by Kym Ciftci

Waking up in hospital, covered in drips and drains, Kym realises that life really is too short. Turning down a great opportunity and saying goodbye to the rat race, she ups sticks with her 18 year old son and throws herself headfirst into pastures new without the slightest bit of research and breaks all the rules by doing the don’ts and ignoring the do’s. When she finds herself freezing, without electricity and the sole inhabitant of a Turkish complex, she wonders if it has all been a very big mistake? Her search for company leads to a fall and in the darkness of night she is taken to a witch doctor whose methods are rather unusual. Surviving that, she finds a job with an aging lothario and his dancing caterpillar and ends up miles from home and fearful for her sanity. Summer returns breathing life back into the town and she meets a man who may just be her reason to stay. Introduced to his large family and their culture, she wades deeper into his Kurdish village life of subservient females, raw food & sacrifices and much to her surprise feels a sense of belonging. Can she find a balance between this and her expat life or has she really bitten off more than she can chew this time?


Tea Time in Turkey
by Scott Quigley

This is a book which brings to life the fascinating history of a nation and illuminates the modern culture and people of Turkey through stories of our adventures in this great country,

It is an entertaining and humourous book, written in an easy style, as if the author were in a cafe chatting to the reader. The pages recount our expectations, surprises and frustrations, the warm welcomes, cultural confusions and pure enjoyment of the land and people which together create what is modern Turkey.
The book is aimed at readers who want something alternative to a travel guide, an entertaining read which paints a picture of a nation, animating the people and bringing the history and culture to life. It is different to other books on Turkey because of the style in which it is written and also because the are no other books on Turkey which combine a complete historical picture with personal adventures. The condensed history of their fascinating and entertaining past is written in the same jesting and easy style as the rest of the book. It is presented in separate sections so that you can easily refer to them again.


Bee’s Milk: Our Year In A Turkish Village
by Karen & Ray Gilden

Tea & Bee’s Milk makes understanding another culture as simple as pouring a cup of tea. And it does so with gentle humor, curiosity, and a cheerful affection for the Turkish people. If you’ve ever dreamed of ditching the rat race and taking a year off, this happy memoir will encourage you to pack your bags and go.


Anatolian Days and Nights
by JE Stocke

Anatolian Days & Nights When Joy Stocke and Angie Brenner meet on the balcony of a guesthouse in a small resort town on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, they think they have only a mutual friend and a summer dream in common. Soon, they discover a shared love of travel, history, culture, cuisine, and literature; and they begin a ten-year odyssey through Turkey. Inspired by the poetry of thirteenth-century mystic Jelalud.


Turkish Awakening: Behind the Scenes of Modern Turkey
by Alev Scott

Born in London to a Turkish mother and British father, Alev Scott moved to Istanbul to discover what it means to be Turkish in a country going through rapid political and social change, with an extraordinary past still linked to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and an ever more surprising present under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

From the European buzz of modern-day Constantinople to the Arabic-speaking towns of the south-east, Turkish Awakening investigates mass migration, urbanisation and economics in a country moving swiftly towards a new position on the world stage.

This is the story of discovering a complex country from the outside-in, a candid account of overturned preconceptions and fresh understanding. Relating wide-ranging interviews and colourful personal experience, the author charts the evolving course of a country bursting with surprises – none more dramatic than the unexpected political protests of 2013 in Taksim Square, which have brought to light the emerging demands of a newly awakened Turkish people. Mass migration, urbanisation and a growing awareness of human rights have changed the social, economic and physical landscapes of a powerful country, and the 2013 protests were just one indication of the changes afoot in today’s Turkey. Threatened as it is by recent developments in Syria and Iraq and the approaching danger of ISIS.

Encompassing topics as varied as Aegean camel wrestling, transgender prostitution, politicised soap operas and riot tourism, this is a revelatory, at times humorous, at times moving, portrait of a country which is coming of age.


Gardens of Water
by Alan Drew

Turkey, 1999. A devastating earthquake brings Istanbul crumbling to the ground, ripping apart the fragile stability of Sinan’s world. His family home becomes a makeshift tent in a camp run by Western missionaries whom he stubbornly distrusts, and he soon finds himself struggling to protect his family’s honour and values. As he becomes a helpless witness to his daughter’s dangerous infatuation with a young American, Sinan takes a series of drastic decisions with unforeseeable consequences. Cultures clash, political and religious tensions mount, and Sinan’s actions spiral into a powerful and heartbreaking conclusion.


The Aviary Gate
by Katie Hickman

Elizabeth Stavely sits in the Bodleian Library, her hands trembling as she holds a fragment of parchment, the key to a story untold for four hundred years …Constantinople 1599: the English merchant Paul Pindar must deliver an extraordinary gift to the Sultan. Grieving for his lost love, drowned in a shipwreck, he hears rumours of a new golden-haired slave in the Sultan’s harem. Could this be his Celia?


by Orham Pamuk

Snow begins in the year 1992. Ka, a poet and political exile, returns to Turkey as a journalist, assigned to investigate troubling reports of suicide in the small and mysterious city of Kars on the Turkish border.

The snow is falling fast as he arrives, and soon all roads are closed. There’s a ‘suicide epidemic’ amongst young religious women forbidden to wear their headscarves. Islamists are poised to win the local elections and Ka is falling in love with the beautiful and radiant Ipek, now recently divorced.

Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, he finds himself pursued by terrorism in a city wasting away under the shadow of Europe. In the midst of growing religious and political violence, the stage is set for a terrible and desperate act . . .

Touching, slyly comic, and humming with cerebral suspense, Snow evokes the spiritual fragility of the non-Western world, its ambivalence about the godless West, and its fury.

‘A novel of profound relevance to our present moment’ The Times


The black Book
by Orham Pamuk

The Black Book is Orhan Pamuk’s tour de force, a stunning tapestry of Middle Eastern and Islamic culture which confirmed his reputation as a writer of international stature. Richly atmospheric and Rabelaisian in scope, it is a labyrinthine novel suffused with the sights, sounds and scents of Istanbul, an unforgettable evocation of the city where East meets West, and a boldly unconventional mystery that plumbs the elusive nature of identity, fiction, interpretation and reality.


My Name is Red
by Orham Pamuk

The Sultan secretly commissions a great book: a celebration of his life and the Ottoman Empire, to be illuminated by the best artists of the day – in the European manner. In Istanbul at a time of violent fundamentalism, however, this is a dangerous proposition. Even the illustrious circle of artists are not allowed to know for whom they are working. But when one of the miniaturists is murdered, their Master has to seek outside help. Did the dead painter fall victim to professional rivalry, romantic jealousy or religious terror?

With the Sultan demanding an answer within three days, perhaps the clue lies somewhere in the half-finished pictures . . .

From Turkey’s winner of the Nobel Prize and author of Istanbul and The Museum of Innocence, this novel is a thrilling murder mystery set amid the splendour of Istanbul and the Ottoman Empire. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is also a stunning meditation on love, artistic devotion and the tensions between East and West.


Belshazzar’s Daughter (Book 1 in a series)
by Barbara Nadel

Leonid Meyer is found murdered in his flat in Balat, Istanbul’s decrepit Jewish quarter, a swastika daubed on the wall in the old man’s blood. But Inspector Cetin Ikmen is quick to eschew the obvious conclusion that this is a racist attack. The evidence leads Ikmen and his young lieutenant, Suleyman, to two people: Robert Cornelius, a teacher observed outside Meyer’s flat shortly after the murder, and a retired businessman, Reinhold Smits, known to have had Nazi sympathies. But another link connects these two: a ninety-year-old Russian émigré, Maria Gulcu, a widow who thinks she possesses a secret worth killing for…


by Elif Shafak

From the Orange Prize long-listed and award-winning author of The Forty Rules of Love and The Bastard of Istanbul Elif Shafak, Honour is a novel of love, betrayal and a clash of cultures.

‘My mother died twice. I promised myself I would not let her story be forgotten . . .’


The Bastard of Istanbul
by Elif Shafak

One rainy afternoon in Istanbul a woman walks into a doctor’s surgery. ‘I want an abortion’, she announces. She is nineteen years old, and unmarried. What happens that afternoon is to change her life, and the lives of everyone around her.

Twenty years later, Asya Kazanci lives with her extended family in Istanbul. Due to a mysterious family curse all the men die by age 41, so it is a house of women, among them her beautiful, rebellious mother, Zeliha, clairvoyant Auntie Banu and bar-brawl widow, Auntie Cevriye. But when Asya’s Armenian-American cousin Armanoush comes to stay, long-hidden family secrets and Turkey’s turbulent past begin to emerge.


by Colin Falconer

Colin Falconer is the best selling author of CLEOPATRA: DAUGHTER OF THE NILE and AZTEC and over twenty other novels. His books have been translated into seventeen languages.

“A page-turner . . . This peek behind the walls of the seraglio will seduce lovers of large-scale historical fiction.” – Booklist

He had everything a man might dream of; wealth, power and the choice of hundreds of the most beautiful women in his Empire. Why then did he forsake his harem for the love of just one woman, and marry her in defiance of the centuries-old code of the Osmanlis?

This is the astonishing story of Suleiman, the one they called the Magnificent, and the woman he loved.

Suleiman controlled an empire of thirty million people, encompassing twenty different languages. As a man, he was an enigma; he conquered all who stood against him with one of the world’s first full time professional armies – yet he liked to write poetry; he ravaged half of Europe but he rebuilt Istanbul in marble; he had teams of torturers and assassins ready to unleash at a whim – yet history remembers him as a great lawmaker.

”Harem’ literally means ‘Forbidden’: Forbidden to men. Once the Sultan was the only man – the only complete man – who could pass through its iron-studded doors. But what was that world really like?

For a woman living in the Harem the only way out was to somehow find her way into the Sultan’s bed and bear him a son. But the young Sultan was often away at war and when he did return he neglected his harem for just one favourite wife. But one young Russian concubine inside his seraglio was not content to allow fate decide the course of her life. She was clever and she was ruthless. And she had a plan.

Into this world are drawn two unforgettable characters; a beautiful young Italian noblewoman, captured by corsairs and brought to the Harem as a concubine; and the eunuch who loved her once, long ago, in Venice.

Loved her? He still stopped loving her .

From medieval Venice to the slave markets of Algiers, from the mountains of Persia to the forbidden seraglio of the Ottoman’s greatest sultan, this is a tale of passion and intrigue in a world where nothing is really as it seems.


By Barbara Nadel

When the wife of one of Istanbul’s best known popular singers is found dead and his baby daughter missing, the newly promoted Inspector Suleyman, scion of one of Turkey’s most aristocratic families, finds himself plunged into the magnificently vulgar, overblown world of Arabesk music, dominated by an ageing star, the monstrous chanteuse, Tansu.



About Carla

Welcome to my blog! I’m the author of the DI Gina Harte Series, first book is called The Next Girl. I love and live for writing and reading (and sketching - haha). My other passion is filmmaking. My feature film 'Penny for the Guy' is a work in progress. If you enjoy a bit of horror, look out for it in the future. I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Feel free to join me on other platforms. I blog about many random things but books, travel and art are my favourites.
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9 Responses to A list of books set in Turkey

  1. Sheila says:

    I enjoyed reading ” Whispers Beneath the Pines” I am just wondering which one to order next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • griffbuck says:

      I know Turkish Eye is a crime novel too. Penny’s book Friendship Love and Apple Tea also seems to have rave reviews, I intend to read both next time I visit.

      I wrote Whispers so you’ve made my day, thank you. Best of luck with your next choice, there are so many on the list that look excellent. 😊


  2. Penny says:

    Hey, thank you so much for including my book, ‘Friendship, Love and Apple Tea’! Some great books on this list, can’t wait to read them.


  3. roz says:



  4. tripfiction says:

    What a great selection of books to transport the reader to Turkey! Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

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