6 DECEMBER 2008, Page 44

I f you can’t afford the airfare you might take this

delicious guided tour instead. Exploring some of the best contemporary Turkish houses (or caves), the photographer, Solvi dos Santos, divides her subjects by season, as if to emphasise the perpetual variety of Turkey’s terrain — and the successive civilisations that have held sway there.

Berrin Torolsan’s informative text explores the inspiration behind such gems as a classical wooden yali on the Bosphorus; a rustic chalet in the mountains; a tea-planters mansion on the Black Sea; a Cappadocian cave-dwelling, with beautifully hewn piers and arches. We are also given a peek into the lives of some of Turkey’s leading figures, including Orhan Pamuk, Rifat Ozbek, and Ahmet Ertegün, who founded Atlantic Records. A businessman’s collection of his old briefcases is drolly ranged beside shelves of antique busts; sunlight streams into a chamber hewn from the volcanic rock. From Ottoman silverware to country stitching, these photographs testify to the enduring skills of Turkey’s local craftsmen — and to the perceptive eye that knows how to match the classical with the contemporary. ❑ At Home in Turkey by Solvi dos Santos and Berrin Torolsan (Thames & Hudson, £24.95, pp. 192, ISBN 9780500514245)

Jason Goodwin