Turkey defines itself, like most nations, as a miraculous and exceptional state. This uniqueness discourse inspires Turkish people to imagine themselves and their nation as superior and special compared with other nations of the Muslim world.

Much more than cobblestones or streets, monuments are conscious and intentional prompts to memory; further, monuments are locations for struggles over memory: what story and whose story does a monument tell and what rival stories are squashed?

As relations between the US and Cuba are improving, and economic and political bulwarks are beginning to disintegrate, there has been talk of renewed religious liberties in the Caribbean country.

‘I do not advise you to go to Ankara to teach Mathematics,’ the University Careers Adviser told me. ‘You have a promising academic future, and could make something of Whig history.

In Turkey a falcı, or fortune teller, is often versed in the ancient art of coffee reading. Before I came to Istanbul I had never heard of anyone reading coffee grindings; although when I was a child my grandmother used to read the tea leaves that remained clinging to the inside a cup of tea after drinking it. This was in the days before teabags became more commonplace, and this small piece of social culture slipped away into insignificance.

The phrase ‘New Turkey’ has gained wide currency in Turkish politics and media. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) leadership and supporters use the phrase to describe the transition from ‘secularist’ Turkey to the one in which Islam plays a larger role in national identity, politics, and foreign policy.