Friday, April 14, 2006


Expat Harem Officially Launched by NYC Turkish Consulate

Expat Harem was launched in style Thursday, April 13th at an evening reception sponsored by Ömer and Meltem Önhon, New York City’s Turkish Consul General and Cultural Attache respectively. We were joined by our literary agent Jonathan Lyons of McIntosh & Otis, as well as EH contributor Mahira Afridi-Perese and her husband Alan who flew in from Istanbul for the event.

The crowd of more than 80 people included members of Turkish press agencies, Turkish American magazines, Ottoman studies scholars, New York publishing professionals, writers, and Turkophiles of all description.

Specifically, we were honored to have among our guests Dr. William Blair, editor of the Turkish Studies Association Journal who traveled up from Princeton for the event; Hüseyin Ünver, the president of EXSA Americas, and his wife Dianna (EXSA, Sabancı Holding's trading and development portal to the Americas, and Demet Sabancı Çetindoğan are our New York City tour sponsors); Rana Şenol of ABC News; Lorna Graham from NBC Dateline; Nafiz Albayrak, foreign correspondent for Doğan News Agency; Carrie Tuhy, founder of InStyle and RealSimple magazines; Katherine Bang, photo editor at Vanity Fair magazine; Victoria Rowan, artistic programmer for the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y; Şenay Meryem Ataselim, President of the Moon and Stars Project; Bircan Ünver, founder and president of the Light Millennium art forum; Friends of Anatolia founding president Demet Yezgi; Cemil Özyurt, editor of TurkofAmerica magazine; Angela Doğançay, curator of the Doğançay Museum in Istanbul; Rafi Zabor, PEN/Faulkner award-winning author of The Bear Comes Home; Elisabeth Robinson, best-selling author of The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters; and the husband of Şirin Devrim, notable Turkish star and the author of A Turkish Tapestry, the memoir of an illustrious Ottoman family.

After introducing ourselves, our book, and the story of its creation, we had a lively discussion with audience members sharing their reactions to the book and others asking about our influences and process. We were touched by the comment of one Turkish audience member who said he was using Expat Harem to teach his American-born children about their own culture...

We were thrilled that the US tour for this American project born on Turkish soil was launched on the one piece of soil in New York City that is Turkish. Our heartfelt gratitude to Ömer and Meltem Önhon for honoring us with this privilege!

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