Nedim Gürsel: Boğazkesen, Fatih’in Romanı (The Conqueror)

The latest addition to my website is Nedim Gürsel‘s Boğazkesen, Fatih’in Romanı (The Conqueror). Gürsel is one of the foremost contemporary writers but this is only one of two of his books translated into English. The eponymous conqueror is Sultan Mehmed II who, among many other places, conquered Constantinople. Gürsel tells two stories: the story of Mehmed and his conquest of Constantinople, but also the story of a contemporary Turkish novelist, Fatih Haznedar, who is writing this novel, while staying in a riverside house opposite Mehmed’s fort of Boğazkesen, the Turkish title of this novel. We follow Fatih’s struggle with the novel, culminating in the 1980 coup, while learning about what drove Mehmed to conquer Constantinople, aged only twenty-one. Gürsel tells a first-class tale and this novel should be better known in English.

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