Deep Mountain

A personal and political journey to the heart of the Turkey-Armenia conflict, by Turkey’s most famous female journalist.
From the Armenian communities of Venice Beach and Paris, to Turkey and Armenia, Deep Mountain is a nuanced and moving exploration of the living history and continuing denial of the Armenian genocide. Encountering writers, thinkers and activists from across the Turkish-Armenian divide, Ece Temelkuran weaves together an absorbing account of the role of national myths and memories, and how they are sustained and distorted over time, both within Turkey and Armenia, as well as among the vast Armenian diasporas of France and America. Deep Mountain is both a brilliant, personal exploration of one of the most enduring and intractable issues of our time, and an illuminating look at the part nationalism plays in the way we see ourselves and others.


  • “Ece Temelkuran dissects the process by which false and true national memories are created and why they are sustained ... This is a book that transforms this ancient Armenian-Turkish dispute into a human drama.”


  • The Great Fire of Democracy

    At what point will the panes shatter from the noise of the fighter jets? When will the approaching shots be at the door? Award-winning Turkish journalist, Ece Temelkuran, author of Deep Mountain and most recently Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy (Zed Books, 2106), responds to the attempted coup on Friday 15th July when the Turkish military tried and failed to overthrow Erdoğan.

    This article originally appeared in German in Frankfurter Allgemeine and is translated by Flossie Draper.

    Istanbul the morning after the great fire of democracy

    Sela is called from the mosques

    It is half past one in the morning, and from all the minarets in Turkey, this special, long call to prayer, which is used at times of death, resounds unrelentingly. As one ends, already the next starts up. The thundering of the fighter jets over our roofs mingles with this marrow-piercing call to prayer that for us heralds death. As the noises of battle turn to silence, announcements come from the mosques, calling for resistance against the military: “This is a Jihad. Take to the streets, for Allah!”

    What do you do when you ask yourself whether the next morning you are going to wake up in the midst of a military coup or in an Islamic Republic?

    That was a joke.

    Continue Reading

  • Auschwitz Report: An Extract

    In his theorising of collective memory, Maurice Halbwachs writes 'it is in society that people normally acquire their memories. It is also in society that people recall, recognise and localise their memories'. The Holocaust, like the Rwandan genocide, or the atrocities committed in the Congo under King Leopold II, exceeds the bounds of traditional historical archives and methodologies. Even gathering information about numbers dead has proven difficult.

    As Halbwachs demonstrates, our understanding of the scope of the atrocities of the Holocaust is informed by cultural documents, such as Primo Levi's Auschwitz Report. Levi's book narrativises the intergenerational exchange of personal, collective, and cultural trauma, prompting a dialogic engagement with the war. Articles such as the Auschwitz Report have laid the groundwork for events such as Holocaust Memorial Day.

    The following extract is from the introduction to the Auschwitz Report and written with Leonardo De Benedetti, an Italian Jew interred with Levi at Aushwitz. To quote De Benedetti, the extract demonstrates how 'every story of survival in Auschwitz is a story of extraordinary circumstance', by revealing the minutiae of how the camps functioned, Levi and De Benedetti provide empiricist detail that legitimates the narrative accounts of Holocaust survivors to chilling effect.

    Continue Reading

  • Things are getting worse for you, Commander!

    As protest and revolt in Turkey continues, journalist and author Ece Temelkuran addresses Recep Erdoğan:

    Roger that Commander!

    We did not know that you have put up with us that long, Commander. You have been disgusted by us and hidden it from us. You have wanted us to be gassed and dispersed like insects for years? You never even wanted us to find a doctor when we desperately needed one? No lawyer should come to defend us. You wanted cops to come and take us and then nothing to be heard of us later. You even wanted us not to be able to breathe, to suffocate where we found shelter. Otherwise why would you order your cops and gendarmes to march on us, detain doctors and not even inform our lawyers where we are? You have always been disgusted by us, Commander. Come on, confess it. Confess and let's finish this game of lies.

    How did you seal their hearts, Commander?

    Continue Reading