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The title Blood Tie suggests something high-minded like brotherhood, the recognition of common humanity among diverse peoples, or the forming of close relationships. There are examples of all these in Blood Tie, but the title also evokes a more sinister theme — the complicity of bloodshed. In the three instances of death in the novel, numerous people are implicated as partially responsible, some unwittingly or ignorantly. The first instance involves only Turks: One of Huseyin's overloaded passenger boats, habitually ignored by the authorities, swamps and sends several young people to their doom, including Huseyin's fiancee, daughter of a rich Istanbul agha. In the second instance, an American woman who sleeps around with the young Turkish men is caught in the act by her husband, who commits suicide by scuba diving deep into the ocean and then shooting to the surface like a human missile. In the third instance, many people are involved — the same sluttish woman, the CIA, Huseyin, and the local police — in tracking down a young dissident (guilty only of taking part in Istanbul demonstrations), who is beaten to a pulp with a rifle butt. The three instances show how easy it is to become implicated in bloodshed, and the widening circles of implication ultimately take in even the reader.

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