The author of this extraordinary memoir has been sentenced to life in prison for the Kafkaesque crime of sending ‘subliminal messages’ in support of the failed coup in Turkey in 2016. This slim volume whose pages were smuggled out of the prison cell, is a moving testament to the power of literature and inner resources of the human spirit.
Ottoman, Armenian and British, with a French education and a King’s College London degree in petroleum engineering: this is the first biography of this extraordinary man in over a generation. An old-fashioned millionaire (after Eartha Kitt’s heart) with exquisite taste who managed to buy art even from Stalin.
Freely is one of the authors of the classic ‘Strolling Through Istanbul’ and has written numerous books on related subjects. This memoir, published by Cornucopia, is the work of a man who spent a lifetime learning about, and loving, this amazing city.
The last Sultan was her grandfather; on his deposition her other grandfather became Caliph until he too was removed from office and the entire imperial Ottoman family exiled. She married the last Khedive of Egypt and saw a second exile in the 1950s, before eventually being allowed to return to Istanbul. Her extraordinary life is also the story of the end of two pivotal dynasties.