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Ece Temelkuran on Tour

Ece Temelkuran, Events, Turkey, Women in Translation -

Ece Temelkuran on Tour

To celebrate the launch of her novel Women who Blow on Knots in English, the bestselling Turkish author Ece Temelkuran will be in the UK to give a number of readings.

16 May: CEFTUS, Turkish Studies at SOAS and SOAS Kurdish Society Joint Forum with Ece Temelkuran

The Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) in partnership with Turkish Studies at SOAS and SOAS Kurdish Society is pleased to invite you to a public forum with one of Turkey’s best known novelists and political commentators, Ece Temelkuran.

This event will be kindly chaired by Mr Gamon McLellan, Teaching Fellow in Turkish at the Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East at SOAS.

The event will take place between 7.00 and 9:00PM on 16 May 2017 in Khalili Lecture Theatre at SOAS (Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0XG).

17 May: Women who Blow on Knots, Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street London W1G 7LP, 6.45pm

Ece Temelkuran will be in conversation with Diana Darke, Middle East cultural expert and author of My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Crisis. Together, they will be challenging assumptions about politics, religion and Middle Eastern women. The talk will be followed by a book signing and drinks reception. To book tickets for this event, please click here General: £10, Concessions: £8, Members: £5

18 May: Waterstones Piccadilly Readings and Author Q&A, 7pm
In association with Zed Books at Waterstones Piccadilly, 203/206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD

3 June: Hay Festival, Fictions: The Journey, 4pm
Ece Temelkuran and Viet Thanh Nguyen talk to Daniel Hahn. Nguyen’s The Refugees is a collection of perfectly formed stories written over a period of 20 years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love and family. Temelkuran’s Women who Blow on Knots about three women on a road trip from Tunisia to Lebanon has become a controversial classic of Turkish literature. Event 436, Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage.

4th June
Ece Temelkuran at Stoke Newington Literary Festival (Venue: The Old Church), 4pm
Exiled Turkish journalist and novelist Ece Temelkuran has been named ‘Turkey’s most-read political columnist’ and is a passionate advocate for human rights. Her 2016 book Turkey: The Insane and The Melancholy, explores the paradox of this astonishing country and her latest novel Women Who Blow On Knots ponders social questions of politics, religion and feminism in the Middle East. £5

5 June: Book Launch Waterstones Trafalgar Square, London, 6.30pm
An election week special discussion with bestselling Turkish novelist, international political commentator and investigative journalist Ece Temelkuran in conversation with the writer Lucy Popescu. Go along and join the debate.

18 August: Ece Temelkuran & Jacqueline Woodson, 7pm
The Spiegeltent (Adult Programme), Edinburgh Festival

“Ece Temelkuran’s second novel is like a firework. It is the book where Twitter and the Thousand and One Nights fairy tales meet.” – Professor Hannes Kraus, KulturWest, 2014 (Germany)
“A loving, feminist and fairytale-like ‘partners in crime’ novel which is a breathtaking thriller at the same time.” – Le Progres Social, France
"If you cannot think of a better road story with heroines other than Thelma & Louise, you should read this novel. Temelkuran opens a battle against uniformed Muslim literary female characters." – Özlem Ezer, Professor of Literature, Literary Critic
"This is an extraordinary novel, a stunning road story, a bitter fairytale and an awakening dream." – Gülenay Börekçi, Literary Critic
“The novel seems like a fairytale but actually it is also a first-class geopolitical analysis of today’s world.” – L’Alsace, Switzerland 

A phenomenon in Turkey with more than 120,000 copies sold, Women who Blow on Knots chronicles a voyage reaching from Tunisia to Lebanon, taken by three young women and septuagenarian Madam Lilla. Although the three young women embark on the road for different reasons – for each holds a dark secret – it is only at the journey’s point of no return that Lilla’s own murderous motivations for the trip become clear...

Unique and controversial in its country of origin for its political rhetoric and strong, atypically Muslim female characters, Temelkuran weaves an empowering tale that challenges us to ponder not only the social questions of politics, religion and women in the Middle East, but also the universal bonds of sister- and motherhood.

Ultimately, the novel begs the reader to mediate on the greatest problem women face today – can the power we hold make us happy, and how?


Ece Temelkuran is one of the Turkey’s best known novelists and political commentators. In 2017 she has been a regular guest on Radio 4 and also appeared on the Channel 4 news, while her journalism has recently featured in Der Spiegel, the Guardian and the New York Times. In 2016 Zed Books released a translation of her collection of essays Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy which was reviewed widely and internationally. She currently lives in Zagreb, Croatia.

Her novel Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar (Women who Blow on Knots) won a PEN Translates award in 2015 and has been translated from the Turkish by Alexander Dawe.