Bourdain’s Field Notes

ISTANBUL, November 2015—It’s a sprawling, beautiful city, still, in spite of the unrestrained construction where Europe and Asia meet. There’s no place like it—and for a time, until very recently, it looked like the future.

We arrived in Istanbul at a hopeful time. The election results were in and power was shifting away, it appeared, from then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP.

So, our show is filled with cautiously hopeful people.

Subsequent events have failed to deliver on their optimism.

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[Turkey] always struggled to find a balance between those in power and the consent of its widely‑diverse population.

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