Executive Reads: Consul General of the Turkish Republic Ali Rıza Güney

As the Consul General of the Turkish Republic, Ali Rıza Güney has an extensive resume that covers a wealth of experience in diplomatic relations. Part of his incredible worldly knowledge can be attributed the pages of the following notable reads…

The Israelis, Founders and Sons by Amos Elon (Bantam Books, Toronto, 1972)
The most illuminating book I have ever read about Israel. Since I served as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Turkish Consulate in Jerusalem between 2005 and 2009, and as the Head of the Middle East Department in Ankara, I developed a particular interest in Israel of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The depiction of the project of amalgamating the immense variety of people with different backgrounds in one country can not be portrayed better. Amos Elon, as a person from within, has successfully managed to elaborate the chasms and continuities between the founders of Israel and the second generation, at the same time still shedding light upon today’s reality in Israel. Although written almost half a century ago, he completed the missing parts of the puzzle in my understanding of the Israeli society in a complete manner.

Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger (New York, 1994)
A must-read for every diplomat to fully grasp the historical and strategic background of realpolitik. The praise-worthy effort of Kissinger in this voluminous piece unequivocally places him as the master of diplomatic history. Having read this book for the first time when I was a post-graduate in Italy in 1995, I read it several more times during the intervening years. Particularly during my 15 years at the Foreign Service, each piece of information in the book has assumed a more real meaning each and every day. The inherent strategic approach Kissinger exposed in this masterpiece is still applicable in today’s world politics and it seems that that will be the case in the foreseeable future.

Atatürk by Andrew Mango (London, 1999)
One of the best narratives on the founder of modern Turkey. In his book, the British historian Mango, born in Istanbul, has covered a critical time span of Turkey’s history around the legendary personality of Atatürk. Transforming Turkey from a battle-scarred ruin into a regional power back in 1920s, the fascinating story of an enlightened leader in this book provides helpful guidance to understand the birth of Turkey to a foreign reader.