I bought this book in advance of a trip that we were making to Turkey. I wanted my children to get a taste of what it would look like. I was looking for a book with good pictures of scenery, landmarks, people, places and things and it fit the bill perfectly.
There is no doubt that Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a brilliant photographer. The pictures of Sultan Ahmet mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and Suleymaniye Mosque are simply stunning. One thing I was looking for and couldn't find were pictures of Northern Turkey (the Black Sea coast). That was a bit disappointing. Also, I was disappointed and upset with Janine Trotereau's commentary. To claim that democracy in Turkey, and I quote, "has not been able to establish itself with solidity and permanence" is flat out misleading. I am not claiming that the transition from the rule of the Ottoman monarchy to democracy has been smooth or is by any means complete. What I fail to see is a single nation in the history of the world that has made such transitions in its political system of such great magnitude "overnight" without a hitch. Show me a single country that exists today where democracy, meaning government by the people, was not threatened at some point in its history for one reason or another! You can't! In its brief history, the Republic of Turkey has been moving, however slowly and painfully, towards achieving more and more democracy. The problems it faces down the road are not much different than the problems faced by many of the nations that claim to rule through a functioning democracy. So buy the book for the pictures but do your reading on Turkish politics somewhere else!