Turkey with Simon Reeve episode 2: Simon Reeve sets off on the second leg of his two-part journey around Turkey, a dramatic and beautiful country that now finds itself at the centre of world events.
In the Taurus Mountains Simon stays with descendants of the original Turks, nomads known as Yoruks, whose lifestyle is under threat from the modern world and an increasingly religious government. They’re not the only minority at odds with the authorities in Turkey; Simon sees first-hand the devastating effects of fighting in the country’s Kurdish region. In an area where the government has detained foreign journalists, Simon gathers unique footage in the aftermath of a crackdown on Kurdish militants – the wholesale destruction of the historic centre of one of Turkey’s oldest cities.
Away from the conflict in the south, Simon heads towards the Black Sea coast. He meets a wildlife conservationist protecting Turkey’s population of brown bears, and villagers who still communicate over long distances using an ancient bird language. In the country’s capital he meets a victim of President Erdogan’s authoritarian purge of people accused of complicity in the failed coup against him.
Finally Simon’s journey comes full circle when he returns to Istanbul – home to the new craze of ‘Ottomania’, a celebration of the vast empire that preceded modern Turkey. Simon visits the set of one of the world’s most popular TV dramas – even getting a speaking role – based in the court of an Ottoman sultan.
Turkey with Simon Reeve episode 2
Simon Alan Reeve is a British author and television presenter, currently based in London and Devon. He makes travel documentaries and has written books on international terrorism, modern history and his adventures. He has presented the BBC television series Tropic of Cancer, Equator and Tropic of Capricorn.
Reeve is the New York Times’ best-selling author of The New Jackals (1998), One Day in September (2000) and Tropic of Capricorn (2007). He has received a One World Broadcasting Trust Award and the 2012 Ness Award from the Royal Geographical Society.
Reeve was born in Hammersmith and brought up in west London, attending Twyford Church of England High School. He rarely went abroad until he started working. After leaving school, he took a series of jobs, including working in a supermarket, a jewellery shop and a charity shop, before he started researching and writing in his spare time while working as a postboy at the British newspaper The Sunday Times.
After the attacks of 11 September 2001, Reeve began making travel documentaries for the BBC. Tom Hall, travel editor for Lonely Planet publications, has described Reeve’s travel documentaries as “the best travel television programmes of the past five years”.