Ibrahim, the Turk

Book Cover for Ibrahim the Turk

Book Cover for Ibrahim the Turk


As World War I explodes across Europe, the Turkish Öztürk family is caught between the dying Ottoman Empire and the emerging modern state of Turkey. Ibrahim Öztürk imagines a new nation, where his family will seek out bountiful opportunities for their children. Unfortunately, there are forces attempting to throw the young Turkish state back into the past. Ibrahim will spend the next seventy-five years fighting for democracy and freedom in Turkey.

Forging the new nation will take Ibrahim, his sister Nebile, and his uncle Rauf, across three continents. They’ll face opposition from many enemies, including the Öztürks’ ancient nemesis, the powerful and wealthy Galip family. Through heartbreak, loss, and setbacks, the Öztürks cling to each other and their dreams of a new Turkey.

Ibrahim, the Turk, is not only a portrait of one family’s struggles; it’s also an explanation of the birth of a rare Islamic democracy and one of American’s most important allies.
thousand years ago, Palestine was a minor kingdom situated between the Roman Province of Syria and the Roman breadbasket, Egypt. Strong hands were needed to keep the peace and Pax Romana prevailed because of the threat and sometimes the use of force.


Immediately after Rauf rang the doorbell, Rahime Sami opened the door and offered both men cologne to rub on their hands and neck. Trying not to grin, Rahime invited them into the guest room. After İbrahim shook hands with the smiling father, Felih, they sat down.

Rahime asked, “Would you like extra sugar in your coffee?” All agreed a regular amount of sugar would be fine. After some small talk, the door to the kitchen opened and Sabiha brought in a tray of small, glass cups filled with frothy Turkish coffee already sweetened. She served first the oldest person in the room, Rauf; then her father, mother and finally İbrahim.

İbrahim thought she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Raven black hair, exquisitely styled; a silver locket necklace over the cutest cream blouse and violet accordion pleat skirt, filled out just right.

İbrahim wasn’t listening as the others continued talking. He watched Sabiha sit next to her mother. He gazed at Sabiha’s high cheekbones, her tender lips, and dark eyes demurely looking down at the soft hands folded in her lap—the tiny blue pumps on her exquisite feet—the way she shifted on the sofa.

“İbrahim … İBRAHIM!” Rauf raised his voice.


“We were talking to you,” said Rauf.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t listening.” İbrahim gave his uncle a sheepish grin.

“Yes, we know what you were thinking about.” Everyone but Sabiha laughed. She just blushed.

Rauf took his saucer and placed its face over the empty cup. As he turned it upside down, he looked at the others. They did the same. İbrahim who had not touched his coffee, drank quickly and also put the saucer on top of the cup and turned it over. “Someone is supposed to read the grounds,” said Rauf.

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