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Europe and the Historical Legacies in the Balkans


Raymond Detrez and Barbara Segaert

The enlargement of the EU with the Balkan countries has aroused the skepticism of many. Although EU admission is primarily a matter of economic and political concerns, questions of cultural import are readily brought into play: Does the country in question conform sufficiently to «our» standards of a «European identity»?
The problematic status of the Balkans in this respect largely consists in their common Byzantine and Ottoman legacies. By focusing on Bulgaria and its neighbours Romania, Greece and Turkey, the authors of this collection attempt to elucidate how mutually incompatible the «cultural identity» of the Ottoman «successor states» and that of Europe are.
Ample attention is devoted not only to the perception of the Balkans in the West, but also to the self-image of people in the Balkans and perceptions they hold of the West. If anything like a Balkan identity can be said to exist, what is its relation to the various ethnic, national, religious and linguistic communities? Notably, what was and is the role played by religion in nation state formation? The relationship with Europe forms the thread that runs through the discussion of these issues.
Contents: Raymond Detrez/Barbara Segaert: Introduction – Hercules Millas: Ethnic Identity and Nation Building. On the Byzantine and Ottoman Historical Legacies – Raymond Detrez: Between the Ottoman Legacy and the Temptation of the West. Bulgarians Coming to Terms with the Greeks – Alexander Kiossev: Legacy or Legacies. Competitions and Conflicts – Nikolay Aretov: The Rejected Legacy – Dennis Deletant: Romania’s Return to Europe: Between Politics and Culture – Ana Maria Dobre: Revisiting Historical and Cultural Myths and Clichés. The Romanian Case of Nation State Building – Silvana Rachieru: «The Turks Were Not as Bad as Written in History Text Books». Acknowledging an Ottoman Legacy in Present-Day Romania – Andrea Carteny: Cultural Identity and Cultural Rights in Romania. The Case of Transylvania – Magdalena Elchinova: Reformulating Identity in Transition. The Turks of Bulgaria after 1989 – Yilmaz Çolak: Neo-Ottomanism, Cultural Diversity and Contemporary Turkish Politics – Ebru Ertugal: Conflicts and Contradictions in Turkey’s Adaptation to Multi-Level Governance in the EU. The Role of Ottoman Legacy in Turkey’s Present-Day Regional Governance – Martina Petkova: New Patterns of Balkan Cooperation for Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Turkey. The Impact of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.