Selma Ekrem grew up among the progressive Ottoman Muslim elite. Ekrem benefited from having an unconventional mother, who did not insist on her daughter's veiling. The book covers the family's sojourns outside Istanbul when her father was governor in Jerusalem during the 1908 Young Turk revolution and then governor of the Greek Archipelago Islands, where the whole family was held captive when their island was taken by the Greeks during the Balkan Wars. Returning to Istanbul just as World War I broke out, Ekrem attended the American College for Girls. Frustrated at the restrictions of Turkish female life, Ekrem traveled to America and countered prevalent stereotypes by lecturing on Turkey.
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