From Joshua Cohen, The Daily Beast:
The Turkish Ulysses. . . .Tanpinar’s great novel also unfolds over 24 hours, but in Istanbul on the eve of World War II. Turkey is torn between East and West just as Mümtaz, an orphan and aspiring writer of historical fiction, is torn between a decaying tradition and his love for the older, divorced Nuran, whose failings and attractions are entirely modern.