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Irfan Orga was born into a prosperous family in the twilight of the Ottoman Empire. His mother was a beauty, married at thirteen, who lived in the seclusion of a harem, as befitted a Turkish woman of her class. His grandmother was an eccentric autocrat, determined at all costs to maintain her traditional habits.
But the First World War changed everything. Death and financial disaster reigned, the Sultan was overthrown and Turkey became a republic. The family was forced to adapt to an unimaginably impoverished life. In 1941 Irfan Orga arrived in London, and seven years later he wrote this extraordinary story of his family's survival.
Irfan Orga was born into a rich Ottoman family which was decimated, financially and emotionally, by the First World War. He joined the Turkish Air Force but was forced into exile by a law forbidding members of the armed forces to marry foreigners. Living in England with his Anglo-Irish wife and their son Ates, he was largely supported by his wife, though the publication of Portrait of a Turkish Family and The Caravan Moves On made him a literary celebrity in the 1950s.