Background: The Ottoman Empire ruled large tracts
of central Europe for about 450 years, until it was defeated by the Turkish
nationalists in 1918. The Turks were led by Mustafa Kemal, whose
story forms just one of the many threads in this tapestry of a book.
Although I obviously cannot endorse either, I found these sites provided useful
background reading about the Ottoman Empire and Mustafa Kemal.
The excerpt, chosen by the publisher, is from Chapter 27. It's well chosen because it reads much like a short story in its own right; and doesn't give away any key plot details that would spoil your enjoyment of the book before this point.