Ali and Ramazan by Perihan Magden

IMG_4828Set in Istanbul, Turkey. Reviewed on 2018/09:

And we have arrived at #istanbul , gare terminus for this month’s #literarytrip . Two major reasons to read and support this book. First #perihanmagden is an #activist and fierce #journalist in a country where both accolades can get you in trouble, jail, torture and death right away. #turkey ‘s erdogan has made it his mission to destroy the country’s democracy and jail anyone who doesn’t agree with his policies or outbursts. Despite the constant intimidation #magden has also made it her mission to combat these injustices mostly through writing and exposing the regime’s diatribes and rapid descent into dictatorship. Hence #aliandramazandefinitely falls into that great activist agenda. Viva la gay agenda! Ali and Ramazan are two #orphans growing up in the inhospitable and cruel streets of #istanbul which are just a testament to a system which simply does not consider them to be humans. On top of that, they also fall in love with each other. It’s although not your traditional #comingoutand #lgbtqi story. #mağden seems to aim at describing how the denial and suppression of #sexuality in general and #sexual expressions have unleashed a culture of abuse and apathy contaminating everything within the #turkish society. It seems like a heavy and poignant read as it should be, right? However at times it felt as if #perihanmağden was restraining herself from going all the way. I wanted the raw, brutal and all encompassing love between Ali and Ramazan to consume and annihilate everything. The book feels more like a passing of #vignettes until the inevitable comes to happen. It’s still a #recommended read and one that becomes more and more relevant given the atrocious state of #lgbt rights in Turkey. #aliileramazan

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