Following Miss Bell
Veteran guidebook writer Pat Yale set out to retrace Bell's Turkish adventures as one British traveller following another. Her journey took her to the site on the Syrian border where she met Lawrence of Arabia, to forgotten monasteries with solitary occupants and to villages where the conversation of trilingual inhabitants recalled a more multicultural past. Along the way, she rubbed shoulders with adherents of faiths that barely survive in modern Turkey, with young men manning barricades in the troubled southeast and refugees struggling to make new lives, with settled nomads making a living from modern tourism and a myriad taxi drivers whose stories exemplify the Turkish dream.
Interwoven with each other, the tales of these two women's travels evoke a Turkey of then and now that is so much more complex than its modern tourist image suggests.
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