Born in 1937 in the wake of the Turkish War of Independence, Dogan Uygur grew up in a virtually unknown agricultural town in southern Turkey. Although he was loved and supported by his community and family, Uygur yearned for more than the fields of Kilis and the backbreaking work of a poor subsistence farmer. He dreamed of escaping the dreary routines, lack of social mobility, and violent run-ins with Syrian soldiers to live a life of his choosing.
While recounting his experiences of how his dream came true through perseverance, education, and an unbending work ethic, Uygur also shares advice that guides others to attain their own versions of success by pursuing education, taking risks and seizing opportunities, overcoming failure, questioning deep-held assumptions, and maintaining a progressive, positive attitude. Throughout his memoir, Uygur provides inspiration through his personal stories of triumph, academic achievements in two countries, and determination to return to his homeland to help bolster its burgeoning manufacturing industry, only to be forced out amid political strife and social upheaval.
The Original Young Turk shares a true immigrant story that proves, no matter what our obstacles are in life, success is possible through persistence, gumption, and help from others.