Is Turkey a Western country ?

Reflected said:
And before you tell me that the situation in Turkey might as well change and approach the European norm, let me tell you that I speak of *now*. I stand by what I said elsewhere, i.e that Turkey has far more in common with Syria, Iraq and Iran than it has with South Europe.

I think you are looking at the superficial differences due to economical or political divergences. You are overlooking the deep culture that doesn't change in just a generation. I have never said that Syria or Iran didn't share similarities with Turkey (I don't know why you want me to say that), but from a global point of view, you can't deny that Greece and Turkey do have things in common, beyond religious differences. It is also my opinion that Greece and Turkey are more similar than Greece and any Northern European country.

I find it pointless to separate countries in exclusive group such as "European" or "Middle-Eastern". Most countries in the world share quite a lot with their neighbours (except results of mass colonialism across oceans like the case of the US and Mexico or Australia and Indonesia, of course).
 
Reflected said:
''If you ask them, Japanese people will usually tell you that their society is a very collectivist one. They are very group-minded, sociable, care enormously about what others think about them, and often do things only because other people do it too ("if everyone jumps in the river, they let's do it too !"). In companies, they tend to seek everyone's opinion before taking a decision (so as to preserve the harmony). Traditionally, families accommodate 3, 4 or even 5 generations under the same roof. Nowadays, it's still common for grand-parents, parents and children to live in the same house.''

That's funny. The exact opposite of Greeks.

Have you ever seen the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" ?
 
Reflected said:

I think you have mixed up history a little bit here. At the time of the Roman Empire, there was not such thing as 'Turkey'. Turks came into the picture relatively late. Instead, in the area that we call today Turkey, used to live many different ethnicities, such as the Greeks (on the western part), Armenians, Persians, Kurds(in the east), Assyrians (not to be confused with Syrians), and others. Some of those ethnicities had small kingdoms.


I know but I am talking of present countru name to make it easier, as otherwise I would have to name the dozens of names each part of this region has had in its long history (and some people on the forum would be quite confused).

What happened to all those ethnicities? *Well, Turkey ethnically cleansed the Greek ethnic minority (some 1, 000,000) from western Turkey, and exterminated as many Armenians. I'm sure you must have heard of the Armenian genocide...

Those minorities that Turkey ethnically cleansed or exterminated were the true heirs of the Roman Empire and the only connection that could link Turkey with the west. Turkey, by destroying its European/Christian minorities, it automatically cut any link it might had with Europe or 'Westerness'..

You don't believe that only 1 million Greeks/Byzantines lived in what is now Turkey and were all pushed out or exterminated by invading Turks, do you ? You also don't believe that Turks, coming from an arid and scarcely populated region outnumbered the original Byzantines in such a rich and fertile place as Anatolia. You'd disappoint me for someone I thought had some interest in history and demography.


The Ottoman Turks were the champions of Islam and a huge big manace to the 'Holy' Christian Europe.

That is why the Ottoman were allied to the Germans and Austrians during WWI, is it ? I know that they first made war with the Austrians in the previous centuries, but how do you explin this sudden good relationship that has brought hundreds of thousands of Turks to Germany ?
 
that movie made some money
but i haven't seen it yet
soon as bb run a 2 for 10 with it, i'm in
 
''That is why the Ottoman were allied to the Germans and Austrians during WWI, is it ? I know that they first made war with the Austrians in the previous centuries, but how do you explin this sudden good relationship that has brought hundreds of thousands of Turks to Germany ?''

Maciamo, I don't understand your point. Germans needed working force in the 60's, and 70's and invited to their country people from many countries. It was thought that the Turks would stay in Germany on a temporary basis. These Turks failed to integrate into the German society and relations between these two ethnic groups aren't particularly good.
After the Turks, many other ethnicicties came to Germany, like Africans, Arabs, and now many Indians. so what? Turkey is still percieved by the EU as a ''menace'' that is why she is denied EU membership. Many German politicians like Stoiber say they will never allow Turkey to join the EU, because culturally and politically does not fit in the EU.

''''You don't believe that only 1 million Greeks/Byzantines lived in what is now Turkey and were all pushed out or exterminated by invading Turks, do you ? You also don't believe that Turks, coming from an arid and scarcely populated region outnumbered the original Byzantines in such a rich and fertile place as Anatolia. You'd disappoint me for someone I thought had some interest in history and demography.'''

I was just trying to point out that in the Byzantine empire lived different ethnicities- they may had Greek and Latin as official languages, but they were different ethnic groups: Greeks, Armenians, Persians, Kurds, and many others. You write:

''You also don't believe that Turks, coming from an arid and scarcely populated region outnumbered the original Byzantines in such a rich and fertile place as Anatolia.''

Where I disagree with you is that The ''Byzantines'' were not all and the same as you imply in your sentence. The Byzantines who lived in that area were not some European ethnic group. There were many ethnic groups of which Greeks were on of them.
 
But what is a Turk really? Even today Turkey's numerous ethnic groups have not totally integrated with each other. One third of the population are Kurds yet, their language is complete different to Turkish (Turkish is closest to Japanese by the way). Many Assyrians that have lived in Turkey for generations will tell you that they are not ''Turks'', but Assyrians. Turkey remains even today, a mosaic of different ethnicities, including Greek and Armenians.
 
Because I feel like I hijacked the topic, with irrelevant posts about Byzantium, I will leave you discuss about Japan and not not disturb you any more with byzantine posts. After all, this topic is supposed to be about Japan. It's been nice to know you
 
To the question: No
 
Ah its all academic....

Turkey will never become part of the EU, western or not.
 
Living in the past? Or is that just prejudgement?

Well, I was surfing on the net.. then I saw your posts...

First of all, I'm a Turk, from Istanbul/Turkey (an EE engineer.. will be in USA for a ph.d. in a couple of weeks)

I see that some of you have some info but outdated :) I read that someone wrote something like this "closed women, honour killings etc. are still common... Turkey is culturally closer to Syria, Iraq etc. than western societies etc....". This person is either unaware of Turkish revolution after world war 1 or is malicious.

As an individual, I hate arabic culture and people. We have only religion in common. Our language is based on Latin alphabet. Yes, most of Turkish people believe in Islam but we have a laic, democratic republic! that you can never see in one of those arabic countries. Yeah, closed women, honour killing etc. happen but very very rare... that is why they become news! It is not a usual thing.

Today Turkish people suffer from economical problems but we all believe in modern life that people can express themselves freely. Being a mosaic of different cultures, different races and living together with that peacefully is something you can not see in most parts of the world. That is why we still have wars around us.

p.s. I don not know why but I really love Japanese people but a little dislike Chinese... I hope to make a lot of Japanese friends in USA.

Take care, under the great Red Sun :)
 
RedSun kardash

Nasilsyniz? Ben chok iyiyim.

To all,

I don't know about Turkish in Turkey. But, in my village (Uygurs, we are a Turkish people too). In the Uygur, we remember our great khan (king), Alptamish say:

Bir gun. Bir dunyasinun
(One day. One family)

the ancient Turk people were warriors who survived on who was strongest and who win in the wars. But, we were not a racist. There were many Turks who became Chinese and intermarried with them. Even the great Tang Dynasty of China. The founder emperor had a Turkish mother and his wife was Turkish too. His son became emperor upon his death but refused to live in a palace and refused to speak Chinese to his officials. He lived in a nomadic Turkish tent and spoke Turkish to his officials. Most Tang emperors did not just see themselves as Chinese rulers. Many had Turkish mothers and upbringing and saw themselves as world rulers who embraced other races. You Japanese should know because it was in that Tang time you went to chinese and learned and copied.

The Turks of Turkey do not look like us (we are the real turks). But, they are still our kardashalar (brothers). I can go to Turkey and easily feel at home because we share almost the same language, culture and food. In many Turkish homes (evlar), they have objects in front to block off evil eye at nighttimes. If you visit northwestern parts of China, Uzbekistan, and Kazakstan, they have same traditions also. Despite distance separation we maintained many striking common traditions.

Only few thousand Turkish horsemen galloped into Turkey and conquered Roman army, but they did not kill the people. They converted them to Islam and intermarried and spoke Turkish later.

To be Turk is not family or genetic inherited. It was simply if you wanted to be Turk and fight for kakhan (kings), then you are part of famly. Turkish peoples, we have a saying: "To go to battle is like going to weddings for us." Turkish spirit is strong and survivalist. Or they could not have marched many miles into Europe and Middle East from wind swept grasslands and deserts of Central Asia.
 
As for the Arabs, their Cosmo theory of the world is completely different to that of the West, science is discouraged in their universities, actually in many Islamic countries Islam is the beginning and the end, and that's just too sad.

Pardon me,, this is so untrue,, I believe that Arab youngsters can study whatever they want,, It has nothing to do with Islam,, Islam has always encouraged its fellows to seek education in all fields,,
 
Come and decide if it is a Western Country

Hi Guys,
I have read your discussion and learned a lot. Thanx. Anyone interested in this topic 'Is turkey a western country', i am inviting him to Turkey. All expenditures are from me, come to Istanbul, stay three days, visit my university and a decide whether it is a Western Country or not...
 
Turkey is a middle-east country. Some Turks call themselves orientals but if you ask the majority of Chinese, Koreans, Japanese and Vietnamese (people of the Chopstick Culture) they will tell you Turks aren't orientals which is a controversial term in L.A.

RedSun said:
I don not know why but I really love Japanese people but a little dislike Chinese... I hope to make a lot of Japanese friends in USA

It's okay. That's a common feeling. In the 80's Japanese tourists were very popular everywhere in the world because of their lavish spending. Even today Japanese people in general are polite, helpful and generous. Indeed two of the Japanese girls (living seperately) I know in Manhattan were even paying all the rent of the apartments they shared with their middle-east boyfriends.

I guess it all depends on your luck. It will largely increase your chances if you live in Soho though. ^_^
 
Your reason for why people love Japans more is very simple.

I, as a Turk, love Japan people neither because Japanese tourists spent a lot in Turkey, nor they seem to be polite. We have a lot of historical and cultural similarities.

The very first reason why i love Japanese people is traditional Japanese family ist very much like the same in Turkey. I think, Japanese people will adapt living in Turkey easier than other nationalities.

Second, Japanese are the ones that was mass massacred by the west. Thousands of people died because of the endless passion of the west over dominating and exploiting the world. That is exactly what we have experienced in the 1st world war. We embrace Japanese people because both we were the victims of the sneaking west.

Also, Japanese beliefs and being so much interested in metaphysical things, makes Turkish people love Japanese. That is why we don't like Chinese people as well.

Finally, while watching "the last samurai", i felt like watching my Ottoman ancestors in WW1. And my respect to Japanese culture and history doubled...
 
Ulubatli said:
Second, Japanese are the ones that was mass massacred by the west. Thousands of people died because of the endless passion of the west over dominating and exploiting the world. That is exactly what we have experienced in the 1st world war. We embrace Japanese people because both we were the victims of the sneaking west.

Hmm, hmm ! :mad: Do you know anything about history at all ? Not a single Western country has ever attacked Japan first. The US fought Japan during WWII, but Japanese started the hostilities with Pearl Harbour. European countries have never really fought against Japan (except if you consider Russia as European, but that was mostly in 1905). Japan was allied to Britain before and throughout WWI. In WWII, Japan sided up with Germany and Italy.

As for Turkey, Turkish people actually did nothing more than to invade, conquer, plunder, kill and convert Greek-speaking Byzantines to Islam. After a few centuries of oppression of Western culture (which after all started in Greece), Ottoman sided up with Germany, Italy and Austro-Hungary during WWI. They fought mainly against Russians, which again are not alwaus considered Westerners.

So what the f**k are you talking about ?

Also, Japanese beliefs and being so much interested in metaphysical things, makes Turkish people love Japanese. That is why we don't like Chinese people as well.

Metaphysics ? Are you sure you know what that means ? Metaphysics was developed in Ancient Greece and is almost characteristically part of Western culture. Wondering about the meaning of existence, what the universe is made of (Greeks were the first to come with the atomic theory), whether it is eternal or not, infinite or not, questioning the existence of god... This is what "metaphysics" means. It is a branch of Philosophy (again, a predominantly Greek and Western thing), and philosophy in the Western sense of the term, didn't even exist in Japan before Meiji (when it was imported from the West). The only non-Western culture with a strong philosophical and metaphysical disposition is India.
 
The words u use are shames on you.

You really messed up the whole story... The word I have used is 'massacred'. The reason why I choosed that word is that you were killed even without touching your katanas, in WW2, remember Hiroshima. Or did you? It is not the Japans that started atrocity... You were pushed into this mess...
The word 'metaphysics' means everything that can not be explained by phsysics. I mean, any belief (except atheism) can be considered as metaphysical belief. You are believing a power that can not be explained using physics. Come on, do not tell me you do worship for an earthly being...

You have really scrutinized the word 'metaphysics' deeply, but the thing I tried mention was not that deep... Anyway,

Peace upon you,

I will not try to defend Ottomans here. That's a long story. But I want to correct your main mistake. Ottoman's have never tried to convert the people where it had conqured. Only %3 of the people converted to Islam in conquired lands, by their own wills. An example: Before conquiring Istanbul (Byzantine), Byzantine bishop said: "I prefer seing Ottoman governors, rather than seing Byzantine emperor..." This shows how people wanted the Byzantine to be conquired by Ottomans...

You have said Ottomans plundered. r u sure? Sultan Mehmet assasinated a soldier of its own army, just because he picked an apple from the tree of a villager in Hungary while they were galloping to Belgrad. This is history that you do not read...

If Ottomans wanted to convert people to Islam, they had done it already, they had the power to do that. However, Islam forbids forcing people to convert in. Today, just 2% of the people living in formerly conquired lands are muslim. Does it makes sense? They had never tried convert people by force...

The history of conquiring is also interesting, you should read a little bit more. Ottomans had never run on jihad unless they are called for help in conquired lands... That's interesting fact. Even I am surprised when I heard this...

But to tell the truth, the last 20 years of Ottoman Empire, was governed by corruptors... It was a whole mass and corruption. I am not defending the corpse of Ottoman Empire...

Ulubatli.
 
This thread makes me feel like...

I'm at a model U.N. meeting.

Seriously, there are threads within threads going on here. What interests me is that everyone has a different opinion. Almost a reflection of modern difficulties involving culture and ethnicity in politics, eh? Speaking of which, has anyone here read R. Kaplan's The Ends of the Earth ? Good book, this thread reminded me of it.

Should the boundries of nations be based on language, geography, cultural heritage, or just be arbitrary? Lots to talk about...
 

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