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Imagining Europe

Europe and European Civilisation as Seen from its Margins and by the Rest of the World, in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries


Edited By Michael Wintle

What do people think ‘Europe’ means? What are its values, what are its borders, and what does it stand for? An important topic, without doubt. But the authors of this research collection are not so much interested in what Europe thinks of itself, but rather in what others think of it. They take a number of scenarios from recent history, and examine how Europe has appeared to people in other parts of the globe: America, China, the Arab world, for example. But they go further, and pose the question for some parts of the world which are ‘inside’ Europe, but which for one reason or another hover on the margins, like the Balkans, and Turkey. Furthermore they include the views about Europe held in parts of the continent which have without any doubt whatsoever belonged to Europe’s core, but which much of the rest of Europe, later, would like to forget about, or marginalise: Stalin’s Russia, and Hitler’s Germany. Most of the elements investigated here are central to the imagining of Europe, and despite many Europeans’ wish to distance themselves, such views should be recognised and taken up as an important and indispensable contribution to the debate about ‘What is Europe?’


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PART III FROM THE “MARGINS” OF EUROPE 93 CHAPTER 4 The Turkish Perception of Europe Example and Enemy Erik-Jan ZÜRCHER To say that Turkey wants to be a part of Europe is to state the obvi- ous. For years now, debates on the possible future accession of Turkey to the European Union have filled our newspapers. Many experts and politicians have pronounced on the political, economic, security-related and cultural arguments for or against accession. It is often pointed out in the newspaper articles, particularly those written by supporters of the Turkish case, that Turkey’s membership ambitions have old roots. Turkey had already been a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for seven years when, along with Greece, it applied for associate membership of the European Economic Community in 1959. Under the Treaty of Ankara of 1963 Turkey was granted associate status as a first step towards the full membership that was defined as the ultimate aim in the treaty. Europe accepted the argument that a country that was vital for the defence of the “Free West” should also be strengthened economically by integration with the West. The first decade following the conclusion of the treaty can be characterised as a honeymoon period in the relationship between the European Community and Turkey, but after the almost simultaneous first oil crisis of 1973-74 and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the relationship entered a period of slow progress and frequent setbacks. Not only did the oil crisis hit...

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