Is Turkey a Western country ?

Ulubatli said:
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...

First I don't know why you say "you", as I didn't do anything and I am not American either for the Hiroshima story. But Japanese probably "massacred" (which means indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people, which does not really fit for bombing, but rather killing with blades or guns) more people in WWII than Americans killed Japanese, even counting Hiroshima and Nagasaki(remember "Nanjing massacre" and all the colonial atrocities comitted by the Japanese imperial army around Asia ?).

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,

Well, if you don't use the right meaning of words, don't wonder why you are misunderstood. What you mean is "mysticism" or "animisn", which is almost the opposite of metaphysics/philosophy, as mysticism & animism are spiritual belief (=religion), while "metaphysics & philosophy" are rational questioning. For more explanation about metaphysics read this here (also available in Turkish)


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.

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...

Before the Turks invaded the Byzantine (=East Roman) Empire, almost 100% of the people were Christians. Nowadays 99% of people living in Turkey are Muslim. It seems evident that more than 3% of the original people converted to Islam...

I don't know what they teach you at school in your country, but it certainly is biased (as in most countries) in favor of your own people. Eventhouh it is true that Ottoman rulers were quite tolerant of other religions once their empire was powerful and well established, it was not the case during earlier expansions. Look at what I found on the quite famous Wikipedia :

Early on as the Turks drew out the Byzantine from Anatolia and later pursued them into Europe, it was a part of the Jihad (or Holy War) against Christianity and the first Ottoman rulers called themselves Gazi, Holy Warrior.
 
Okey, you seem to be a dictionary guy, so i am no more discussing on this topic, since I do not know English very much. I am sorry, and i thank you for correcting my word mistakes...

Before the Turks invaded the Byzantine (=East Roman) Empire, almost 100% of the people were Christians. Nowadays 99% of people living in Turkey are Muslim. It seems evident that more than 3% of the original people converted to Islam...

I am talking about the Ottomans. Turks entered Anatolia at around 10th century. However, Ottomans Empire was settled in 14th century. Turks that conquired Anatolia was not much more than a tribe. They had no state, governor or anything belonging to a civil society. Even they were living in tents. They were not Ottoman Turks that discovered Anatolia. They were caucasian Turks, which had a lot of belief including paganism. They called themselves Seljuklu Turks. You see, there are 3 century between the settlement of Ottoman Empire and conquest of Anatolia. They were not the Ottoman Turks that forced people to flee...

Percentage %3 is given for the people living in the formerly conquired lands by Ottomans and than left behind after the 18th century. East European people had lived under Ottoman rule for 4 centuries, however they are not converted more than %3.

Now, even modern Europe we call now, had converted nearly all of the population to christianity in less than a century. I am talking about the North Africa. That is to say, Ottomans did not apply a pressure on people's beliefs. The total number of churchs that are burnt by Ottomans is only 8. This number is for all of the east europe for at least 300 years. Let me tell you that America had bombed 48 mosques in Iraq in only 1 year! Compare the numbers yourself and come up with a conclusion...

The way Ottomans used was that they seperated land into states and every state was independent in its domestic affairs as long as they paid tribute to the State. This tribute was used in military spendings of that state and very little amount of that tribute was sent to the treasury.

European scholars does not want to talk about these very much. That is why you don't know these. I am not accusing you, that is our mistake that we always shut up, and we did not have any lobbies in any country.

Early on as the Turks drew out the Byzantine from Anatolia and later pursued them into Europe, it was a part of the Jihad (or Holy War) against Christianity and the first Ottoman rulers called themselves Gazi, Holy Warrior.

I don't know where you have found this information, a joke site? 'Gazi' is a Turkish word. That means veteran. You go to war and if you return, you are named 'Gazi'. It has nothing to do with Holy Warrior. :) My friends are loughing around me...

Peace be upon you, I love Japans, even if they don't like me...
 
Ulubatli said:
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...
I doubt that very much. The Byzantines wouldn't have fought for centuries if their people wanted that much to be conquered.Any source?
Also I would like to see a source for the 2/3% of converts, you claim. Thanks!


Ulubatli said:
I don't know where you have found this information, a joke site? 'Gazi' is a Turkish word. That means veteran. You go to war and if you return, you are named 'Gazi'. It has nothing to do with Holy Warrior. :) My friends are loughing around me...
It probably depends on the usage. Or maybe it has changed its meaning in modern Turkish. No reason to laugh, anyway.

From the OED:
Ghazi
also 8 gazi, 9 ghazee.

A champion, esp. against infidels; also used as a title of honour. In modern use, chiefly applied to Muslim fanatics who have devoted themselves to the destruction of infidels. Hence Ghazism, the practice of the Ghazis.

1753 HANWAY Trav. (1762) II. VI. i. 144 The most potent Sultan Achmed, Khan Gazi. 1835 A. BURNES Trav. Bokhara (ed. 2) I. 123 [They] entertain such hatred for the infidel Seiks, that they often declare themselves ?ghazee?, and devote their lives to their extinction. 1884 Men of the Time (ed. 11), Osman Pasha (Ghazi)..In October [1877] he received from the Sultan the title of ?Ghazi?, or ?Victorious?. 1885 T. P. HUGHES Dict. Islam 139 In the Turkish Empire the title of Ghazi implies something similar to our ?Field Marshal?.[...]



Regarding religious freedom:
No doubt, that Christians & Jews in the Ottoman empire were often treated better than Muslims in Christian countries. But they also were not equal. Eg. they had to pay higher taxes.
Or what about having every 5th Christian boy taken away to serve as a soldier (the Janissaries)? For some people this might be a pretty good reason to convert.
Maybe not so many churches have been destroyed, but AFAIK quite some were converted into Mosques.
 
What i find funny is the hope to justify yourselves as "Orientals".

You might as well say we're all African, since the earliest known man/woman was found there. *rolls eyes*
 
Sources:
Firman of Sultan Mehmed (Conquirer of Istanbul): "Send to the praised bishop this message; Your sincere will to be administrated under justice of Ottoman rulers rather than Byzantine rulers, will be the source of mercy upon you, your merchants, your priests, your mans and womans." (Ottoman Archive, Shelf 12.A, Volume TA302, p13)

"...Sultan Abdulhamit published a ferman to Balkan nations, delivering the message that non-Turk muslims in the formerly Ottoman lands are welcome to Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Empire compromises non-Turk muslims to be embraced as a citizen of the empire. Adressee embassador is required to turn in the number of potential inmigrants. However, the number did not outnumber %1 of East European population. Adding the probable non-Turk muslim population that did not want to be revealed by administration, this number can not exceed %2-3 of all Balkan population."
Demographical Study of Ottoman Empire, Ankara, p.342)

You have also said that Ottomans converted a lot of church to mosque. That is not true. The only church that is converted to mosque as Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Hagia sophia was built in 5th century by Roman Empire. So, it had a dome and semi-vaults, which was very much like the classical mosques built by muslims at 15th century. However, after the 10th century, with the denial of Roman Art by Europeans, christians never built any church with dome and vaults surrounding it. Churchs that are built after 10th century used triangular roof based on a long aisle. This building type is never used by muslims, and there is no example of such a mosque in Europe. That is to say, you have no evidence of a single church being converted into mosque by ottomans except Hagia Sophia.

Christians and Jews had to pay higher taxes in Ottoman Empire because they were exempt of accomplishing the military service. I would prefer paying money rather than paying my life in military service. If there is an unequality, they are Turks who experinced unfairness... :)

I am learning a lot friends, discussion makes me search and read sources... :)

See you tomorrow guys, I am going to bed now, I have a DSP Signal exam, wish me luck...
 
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Ulubatli said:
You have also said that Ottomans converted a lot of church to mosque. That is not true. The only church that is converted to mosque as Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Christians and Jews had to pay higher taxes in Ottoman Empire because they were exempt of accomplishing the military service.
Well, there were very probably a lot more than one, a dozen in Istanbul alone:
"A dozen churches also survive from the Byzantine period. Their good condition is essentially due to their conversion into mosques during the Ottoman period."
http://whc.unesco.org/whreview/article4.html

There were more:
Cyprus
http://archnet.org/library/dictionary/entry.tcl?entry_id=DIA0079&mode=full

Rhodes
http://www.hellas-guide.com/rhodes/history-rodos.html

Serbian-Orthodox Churches in Bosnia (though admittedly from a pro-Serbian site)
http://w3.tyenet.com/kozlich/bcs.htm

Crete
http://www.crete.tournet.gr/Turkish_Occupation-is-53-en.jsp

I could probably find a lot more about conversions, if I did a more extensive web-search.


Another, this time admittedly a bit pro-Croatian, site states about Croatia (& Bosnia): "More than 550 churches and monasteries, the centres of cultural life and education, were devastated and pulled down. Thousands of the gentry manor houses were destroyed, the middle and lower gentry and clergy was exterminated, as well as the educated individuals, cultural goods and all traces of literacy."
http://www.hercegbosna.org/engleski/crootto.html

The last link I have is on Albania:
"The most effective method employed by the Ottoman Turks in their missionary efforts, especially in the central and southern parts of the country, was the creation of a titled Muslim class of pashas and beys who were endowed with both large estates and extensive political and administrative powers. Through their political and economic influence, these nobles controlled the peasants, large numbers of whom were converted to Islam either through coercion or the promise of economic benefits."
http://wrc.lingnet.org/albrel.htm


Regarding tax or military service: What would you say about giving your child away to serve as a Janissary?


BTW, thanks for the sources (will have a look at that stuff later) & good luck!
 
Regarding your question about janissaries: Well, Ottoman Empire was not the perfect model of a state. That's a burden that I can not defend in terms of human rights and etc. I don't know the reason what pushed Pashas or Sultans to legitimize taking away the 5th child. Moreover, this is not the only burden of Ottoman Empire, there are many...

You've said that 5th child is taken to serve as janissary. There is a misguidince here I think. 5th child is taken to serve as officer, janissary and even vizier. In 17th century, Sokullu Mehmet Pasha (vizier, born in Sokolovich in Bosnia, not Turk, not muslim) ruled Ottoman Empire for about 10 years after sudden death of padishah. He was also taken away. But this does not legitimize taking away the 5th child, that's another story.

I had a look at your links.

Most of those websites give Hagia Sophia (Aya Sophia, Ayia Sophia, Ayasofya, it has lots of names) as the only robust example as a converted church. There are some other examples I know, you may probably find out in the internet also. There is 9 gothic roman church that is converted, but the reason was that they were being abondoned after the Pope stopped subsidying these churches in 16th century.

There may be some other examples, but the archives tells that Hagia Sophia is the only one that was converted by the control of Ottoman Empire. Others may be result of local quarrels just to suppress the outraging ones.

Icons of holy Jesus and mother Madonna was torn not because they did not believe in Jesus. Muslim believe that holy Jesus is a prophet and is son of the virgin mother Madonna. The reason that they tore the iconas was that they believed holy Jesus can not be depictured as an ordinary man.
 
By the way, returning to topic 'Is Turkey a western country?'

Yes, it seems to be a western country. However, it does not deserve entering European Union. If i were the one that decides it, I wouldn't let Turks into Europe...
 
Ulubatli said:
There is 9 gothic roman church that is converted, but the reason was that they were being abondoned after the Pope stopped subsidying these churches in 16th century.

That's strange for several reasons :
1) To the best of my knowledge, churches and even cathedrals do not receives subsidies from Rome. They are financially independant. Historically, the local community or government have helped build them, but money goes almost only from churches to Rome, rarely the other way...
2) Only Catholics are subjected to the Pope. Greek and Byzantines are/were Orthodox anyway, and respond(ed) to the patriarch of Constantinople.

Couldn't it be that the number of Christians dropped and Muslim took over the church ?
 
Ulubatli said:
Yes, it seems to be a western country. However, it does not deserve entering European Union. If i were the one that decides it, I wouldn't let Turks into Europe...

Turkey is unlikely to join the EU soon because of the economy (high inflation...), human rights issues (Kurds...), then the religion and geography problem, but these 2 are maybe the ;east important, as there are lots of Muslims in Europe (including non-immigrants, like Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria...) and Cyprus is not more in Europe than Turkey, but is joining in May.

I think that if Turkey gave its independance to Kurdistan (maybe jointly with the Iraqi part), it could solve 2 issues. There wouldn't be the human right problem anymore (I think...), then the average GDP per capita would rise as Eastern Turkey is the poorest part. So it could solve economic problem more easily. Then the percentage of land inside Europe would also be bigger.

By the way, how do you feel about Turkish Cypriots possibly joining the EU as well ? Is it going to make Turkish people want to join the EU more ?
 
Ulubatli said:
You've said that 5th child is taken to serve as janissary. There is a misguidince here I think. 5th child is taken to serve as officer, janissary and even vizier.
The numbers varied over time anyway. I think, 1/5th to 1/40, depending on how many soldiers were needed.
AFAIK, you are mistaken about the kids taken away automatically serving as officers or higher. The Janissaries comprised mainly of (foot) soldiers. They could earn their way up the chain of command, though.

Most of those websites give Hagia Sophia (Aya Sophia, Ayia Sophia, Ayasofya, it has lots of names) as the only robust example as a converted church. There are some other examples I know, you may probably find out in the internet also. There is 9 gothic roman church that is converted, but the reason was that they were being abondoned after the Pope stopped subsidying these churches in 16th century.

There may be some other examples, but the archives tells that Hagia Sophia is the only one that was converted by the control of Ottoman Empire. Others may be result of local quarrels just to suppress the outraging ones.
Archives may not entirely to be trusted, esp. if the content was written by those who were the "perpetrators".
Hagia Sophia & Ayia Sofia are not necessarily the same (I don't know if these 2 names are actually homonymous). Mind you, a lot of churches bear the same or similar names in Europe. The Ayia Sofia mentioned on the Cypriot website is definitely not the Hagia Sophia:
"The Selimiye in Nicosia was a thirteenth-century cathedral (Ayia Sofia) which was converted to a mosque in 1570"


Icons of holy Jesus and mother Madonna was torn not because they did not believe in Jesus. Muslim believe that holy Jesus is a prophet and is son of the virgin mother Madonna. The reason that they tore the iconas was that they believed holy Jesus can not be depictured as an ordinary man.
It is still a sign religious intolerance & cultural ignorance. Just like when the Taliban destroyed the huge Buddha statues.


BTW, I wouldn't call Turkey a Western country, although it's a secular state & there are some "Western" features. The culture is definitely not European, though influenced by European values.
Anyway, all that should not be a hindrance to joining the EU. If the economical & human rights problems are solved & Turkey subscribes to the European constitution, why not.
 
Of course destroying Iconas of Jesus is ignorance and intolerance. I did not try to legitimize the destruction of iconas. I just wanted to give an opinion of those people that destroyed iconas. The thing is that I am not trying to advocate Ottomans, surely they had done a lot of mistakes...
 
sir...

ottoman forces plunder fight ...etc yes that's true.... every culture did that those times...
judge me but a little more justice please...
 
Maciamo said:
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 ?



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.

hi maciamo...the sentence 'turkish people did no more than to invade' shows up that you ignore all seljuk and ottoman art,science(architecture astronomy and mathematics especially)...we did much really...
see:piri reis's world map/seljuk and ottoman architecture/c.asian math
the turkic population poured thoru asia minor mainly 1071(malazgirt) reached up so numerous ...and the mogul pressure made it fast ...
(once more than 500 000 turkmen killed by mogul because of an uprising held against the mogul mayor... so think of the rest)
we turkish people is not made up of the convert ones only...
and there were so numerous other turkic groups(kıpcaks/uz(s)) at byzantyne...they form up the army of byzantyne..... the name for the light cavalry was turkopolus (son of the turk) they had reached thourgh the north of black sea instead of t?rkmen...

we may not be the part of the west club.
dont be so rude and ignored at ottoman...ottoman turks invade and kill but alexander the great carries out civilization?? thats a bit prejudicement..

extra:muhammad bin musa al-khroazmiy: gave his name to ALGORİTHM ,one of his book's name AL-JABR gave us the word ALGEBRA.....

the map of ottoman turkish major-admiral piri reis about 500 years ago...
 
aaltunn said:
hi maciamo...the sentence 'turkish people did no more than to invade' shows up that you ignore all seljuk and ottoman art,science(architecture astronomy and mathematics especially)...

That was a reply to Ulubatli saying that Turks had always been victims of massacre (by the West :eek: ). Arts, sciences, etc. has nothing to do with that. Anyhow, I think that today's Turkey is a fusion of Byzantine and Turkish in regard of the arts, and quite Westernized when it comes to science. One more thing :

extra:muhammad bin musa al-khroazmiy: gave his name to ALGORİTHM ,one of his book's name AL-JABR gave us the word ALGEBRA.....

Actually Muhammad ibn-Musa al-Khwarizm iwas an Arab who lived around 780?850 AD (well before the Turkish people came to Asia Minor), so I don't see the connection with Turks at all.

Anyhow, algorithm and algebra are just tiny part of modern knowledge. Science and philosophy first appeared in Ancient Greece (over 1000 years before Khwarizm) then developped mostly in Western Europe from the 15th century, and esp. since the late 18th century. Anyway, this has nothing to do with our discussion "is Turkey a Western country ?".

(once more than 500 000 turkmen killed by mogul because of an uprising held against the mogul mayor... so think of the rest)

I sincerely doubt this figure. Maybe Turks have a tendency to exagerate. 500.000 people killed is twice more than the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagazaki combined (claiming 200.000 lives altogether). I am also interested to know when this happened, as the world population having dramatically increased since the industrial revolution, this number would have a much bigger proportion the further away in time. Just as an example, Japan's population doubled from the 1930's to 1980's, and quadrupled since the Edo era. That means that to keep proportion to the population, this massacre would have equaled to 2 million deads in modern times. Doesn't add up to your credibility.
 
Maciamo said:
That was a reply to Ulubatli saying that Turks had always been victims of massacre (by the West :eek: ). Arts, sciences, etc. has nothing to do with that. Anyhow, I think that today's Turkey is a fusion of Byzantine and Turkish in regard of the arts, and quite Westernized when it comes to science. One more thing :



Actually Muhammad ibn-Musa al-Khwarizm iwas an Arab who lived around 780?850 AD (well before the Turkish people came to Asia Minor), so I don't see the connection with Turks at all.

Anyhow, algorithm and algebra are just tiny part of modern knowledge. Science and philosophy first appeared in Ancient Greece (over 1000 years before Khwarizm) then developped mostly in Western Europe from the 15th century, and esp. since the late 18th century. Anyway, this has nothing to do with our discussion "is Turkey a Western country ?".



I sincerely doubt this figure. Maybe Turks have a tendency to exagerate. 500.000 people killed is twice more than the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagazaki combined (claiming 200.000 lives altogether). I am also interested to know when this happened, as the world population having dramatically increased since the industrial revolution, this number would have a much bigger proportion the further away in time. Just as an example, Japan's population doubled from the 1930's to 1980's, and quadrupled since the Edo era. That means that to keep proportion to the population, this massacre would have equaled to 2 million deads in modern times. Doesn't add up to your credibility.

hi maciamo...about art and science ı just try to mean that we are not just barbaric influenced people thats all.... WE SUFFER from the history.... the serbian pop-group involving the eurovision said -'we came here for the last 500 years' revenge etc...'- so you get what i mean

muhammed was an example of the culture of c.asians.well we got a problem here all allmost western books etc seems to be non-objective about that arabian was just the religious and the scientific official language of the c asia . he was an C.ASİAN TURK. uzbek or someone else...
(and some western scientists used to see mevlana as persian???)
look at www.geocities.com/Broadway/Balcony/2440/uzbekcorner/uzmatem.html

well you seem you dont much keen about the collapse of anadolu seljuk and being the mogul vassal.... just search the times of pervane(the former p.minister/general mayor of anadolu seljuk ) and baybars(ruler of the country devlet-ul turkiyye ((egyptic arabian and others people+turkic ruling majority))
baybars from egypt stopped mogul armies at turkey.he was called to anadolu by turks to stop moguls.those times great massacres occurred really....

well i know we spoilt the main topic ....... :relief:
turkey is a mixture of all people ever seen on asia minor....... not quite belonging to the west club really...we got severe problems at all :souka:
the revolutionary mind of mkemal is misunderstood and spoilt by turkish people.... :(


go west (which song was that 90's) :)
my best regards maciamo :cool:

bossel said:
Actually, some people claim this map was originally Chinese. :p


Not that I believe this... Here you find a good analysis of the map:

http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/PiriRies.HTM

well its from the outer space.....

the real thing is that its a compiled map.made up of many maps already found at ottoman's archives.+ piri reis's work...

thanks bossel :)
 
'''''''what is now Greece and Turkey were the same country, with the same culture, language, religion and history.''''''''''

You couldn't be more wrong on this one. First of all, that ''same country'' you refer to = the Ottoman Empire did not only consist of Turkey and Greece. The Ottoman Empire included ALL of Southeast Europe,....Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, as well as most of the middle East and North Africa. Greeks were just one of the many ethnic groups to have been occupied by the Ottoman Turks. Not all of Greece actually, because Western Greece (Ionian islands) never became part of the Ottoman Empire. It belonged to Venetians.

As I explained, in that huge area known as the Ottoman Empire, lived ethnic groups with different culture, language, customs and religion. Just because they were occupied by the Ottoman Turks and were *forced* to become parts of the Ottoman Empire does't mean that they became suddenly one and the same i.e. 'one country' with the same culture, language, and religion!!! What an absurd claim to make!

On the contrary, it was precisely because they had a different culture, ethnic backround, language and religion that these ethnic groups, regularly revolted against the Ottoman empire!! Turks, throughout the Ottoman occupation were considered as arch enemies by the Greeks and the other ethnic groups. They were constntly revolting against the Turks, until they gained their much wanted Independence. Bear in mind also, that Greece was the first country to liberate itself from the Ottoman yoke-( Albania being the last), because Greeks had a strong sense of identity.

You write:
''''''''''So what is it that the Turks have change, if not the official language and religion, and bringing some Asian blood (but, as you probably know, there are still blue-eyed Turks of European ancestry) ? ''''''''''

If you are assuming that the Turks after occupiying Greece and the other Balkan countries, intermixed with the local populations you are wrong.This is not the case. When the turks occupied the Balkan they were consider enemies and invadors. You dont mate with your enemy.

In fact there was a segragation between the Christian populations and the Muslim populations in the Ottoman Empire. Intermarriage between Christians and Muslims at that time was stricktly forbidden. In fact conversion from Islam to Christianity was punishable with death.
To imply that the ethnic populations in the Ottoman empire, after their occupation become ' one country' 'one culture' is simply ludicrous. Cultures tend to stick together - and even today- rightly or wrongly you don't see many mixed race marriages. Although in the west this is becoming more common as people are becoming more tolerant, it is still an exception rather than the rule.

On the other side, Ottoman Turks freely intermixed with the other different populations occupied by the Ottoman Empire. ie Kurds, Syrians, Arabs because they shared the same religion and intermixing was permissible by their religion. Some Europeans even converted to Islam to escape the heavy tax burden and inhuman treatment they had to suffer from the Ottomans, and became 'Turks' albeit a very small number. Hence we have today some European looking Turks.

The opposite did not happen though..no Turk converted to Christianity and became 'Greek' , because convesion from Islam to Christianity was punishable with death. (a Christian who converted from Christianity to Islam were ostracised by its ethnic group and was no longer considered part of that ethnic group).

You write:

''''''''''''''If you check the official Turkish tourism website, you'll see that they boast about their European and especialy Greek heritage. A Turk would also probably be more offended to be called an Arab than a European, from what some Turkish friends told me'''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Turks of course want to be considered Europeans, after all the EU is a European Union. The reason they want to be part of it is because their participation would greatly increase the Turkish influence in Europe, Balkans and the Middle east and not because they feel they share the same European values as their fellow Europeans. It is understandable that they want to join the EU, becase the EU (being the democratic entity it is) will be forced to give Turkey (in case it joins) equal power and seats to the Europarliament as countries as Germany, while at the same time contributing nothing to the EU budget. Turkey is extremely large, think that is so big in size as twice the Germany and more! and her population is a big as that of all the 10 EU candidate countries together! At the same time its a very poor and nationalistic country. A recipe for disaster for the EU!

It is understandable that they boast about the Greek heritage, its their only link with Europe. The problem is that they cut that link long time ago, when they ethnically cleansed the Christian minorities (included the Greek) that lived in the country. Today they can no longer of any Greek or European heritage, no more than Tunisia or Jordan can claim European heritage (there are loads of ancient greek heritage in these countries.

You write
''''''Exactly ! I am happy you point that out. You are demonstating yourself that Turks are in fact much closer in lifestyle to Greeks, Bulgarians or Yugosavs than to Finns, Irish or even English.
That doesn't help us define what is "Westerness", does it ? Thanks for your contribution anyway.'''''''''''''

You miss completely the point. The point I was trying to make was that Greeks really aren't that much different from the Finns and the Italians not much different than Italians. By European culture we mean the vague average that is represented by the culture of modern central Europe, with extremes ranging from the Russians and Finns to the Portuguese and Greeks. However, this model certainly does not include Turks, whether some people like it or not.

''''''''Exactly ! I am happy you point that out. You are demonstating yourself that Turks are in fact much closer in lifestyle to Greeks, Bulgarians or Yugosavs than to Finns, Irish or even English.'''''''''''''

I am not saying they aren't. What I am saying is that the *vast majority* of them aren't. Like it or not Turkey is an incredibly big country stretching from Greece all the way to Iran and Iraq. The great majority of them have little in common with Greeks and other South Europeans. A visit to any Turkish town east of Istanbul will be enough to convince you that the local populations there have much more in common with Iranians, Syrians and Iraqis than with Greeks, Italians or Spaniards.

Lol this is really a very biased ridiculously inaccurate view towards Turkey and since you are from Greece I'm not surprised one bit at your seemingly intense hatred, racism, prejudice and ill feelings towards the Turks given the animosity, rivalry and long and complicated history our countries have together. First of all like it or not, Turkey is very western and very modern, I'm not very happy about this fact but it is a fact. Starting from it's history with the birth of the Ottoman Empire, modern day Turkey has always been part of the western and european culture after the Turks migrated from the Central Asian steppes (their birthplace) into Anatolia/Asia Minor, Middle East and Southeastern Europe including the Balkans. The establishment of the Seljuk and especially the Ottoman Empires was started with the conquests of Anatolia/Asia Minor from the weakened Byzantine Empire then eventually taking Constantinople in 1453 and ending the 1,000+ year old Byzantine Empire and incorporating its former and further territories into its rule. At its height, the Ottoman Empire encompassed Southeastern Europe (including all Balkan countries and further, reaching capital of Austria, Vienna and being barely stopped at Central/Western Europe by a combination of three armies being Austrian, earlier Germanic tribes and finally the Poles), all of Arabia and Middle East, North Africa. However no matter how you try to twist the history, it is well-known by many historians and analysts that the Ottoman Empire despite its issues with its minorities at certain times was perhaps one of the very few if not the only tolerant Empire at its time where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived, worked, and coexisted together peacefully. In fact some Christians had more power in the government and in the state than some Muslims as many Greeks, Armenians, etc. were given significant positions within the government. Even some Ottoman Sultans such as Mehmed "the conqueror" had Greek blood in him. No one was forced to convert to Islam, there is absolutely no such claim or proof of it, in the case of the Janissaries (the elite Ottoman soldiers) was a small exception however as small Christian slave children were taken by the government, the ones who were seen as strong or with potential and trained to become Muslim warriors loyal only to the Sultan and had incredible power in the empire at one point even controlling and deciding the choice and functioning of the Sultans until Sultan Mahmud disbanded their practice and constructed a new army system in the early 1800's. The Janissaries were consisted of people from all over the empire but it was mostly composed of Greeks and Turks who made up the main powerful bulk of the army. So in contrary to your claims that the Greeks suffered "heavy tax burdens and inhuman treatment" they were treated and given high priorities by the Sultan and the state, of course not just Greeks but all Christians were taxed to distinguish them from the Muslims, it is not much different than what the British and French as well as other Europeans such as Dutch, Spanish, Portueguese, etc. did to their minorities including Muslim ones when they conquered many territories all over the world. So comparing it to that, I would go as far as to say that the Greeks and other Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire were in fact treated like kings compared to what the colonized people had to suffer under European imperialist rule. Well like it or not, in most parts of Turkey especially Central and Western but even parts of Eastern Turkey you can find many "European and Western" looking Turks with blue/green eyes, blond or light brown hair, facial characteristics and features, etc. The original and pure Turks look like the Central Asian (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan), Mongolian, Chinese Turks (Uyghurs and Huns), Russian Turks (Crimean Tatars, Chechens, Circassians, etc.) and have generally yellowish white skin and slightly slant eyed. Today Turkey is mostly composed of a mixed country with Greek, Albanian, Bosnian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Caucasian (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) and Central Asian, Middle Eastern (Arab, Kurd, Persian, Syriac, Coptic, etc.) and you can only find some original pure looking Turks in small parts of Southeastern Turkey or all over Turkey but to a small extent. So the culture and people themselves have blended into European and Western culture whether you or anyone wants to admit it or not. Yes of course Turkey wants to join EU to gain more influence over European and Middle Eastern affairs just as UK, France or Germany do, what's wrong with that, Turkey is the only country in the Islamic world that is a secular democracy (despite being 99% Muslim) and no matter what corruption and internal problems they have, so do many EU and non EU European and other western countries in the world. Why should countries like UK, France, Germany, US, and other powerful Western countries have more power and influence in Middle East and not Turkey when Turkey is the most important player in the region, pretty much a so called bridge between East and West or Islam and Christianity or Asia and Europe? Turkey is already a very important country in the region as they have continuously been involved in Middle Eastern affairs such as being a mediator between Israel and Syria and Lebanon for peace talks after the wars they fought, refusing to allow US troops to be stationed in Turkish soil to invade Iraq in 2003, and having close ties with Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, etc. Being in EU will only contribute little to this power and influence Turkey already enjoys. Turkey is larger than France and UK combined in terms of area/land mass and its population is 76 million according to the latest statistics, UK is 62, France 65 and Germany about 82 million. So it would be one of the most powerful and influential members of the EU along with those countries if they join due to their vast size and population and would have a big role in the EU decisions. I don't see any harm in that as it would greatly benefit the EU and make it more powerful and prosperous, also excuse me but how ignorant do you sound when you make such stupid and inaccurate claims such as Turkey is "At the same time its a very poor and nationalistic country. A recipe for disaster for the EU!" Turkey is yes very nationalistic and fiercely patriotic as many countries such as Greece but it is in now way a poor country. Turkey is currently the 17th largest economy in the world with GDP nominal and 15th in terms of GDP PPP (Purchasing Power Parity), part of G20 (making up top 20 richest countries and economies in the world), while Greece is 27th in GDP nominal and is economy being in a long decline is collapsed and bankrupt as the current news shows. So I would think Greece being already in EU is causing internal problems and instability to the EU while Turkey would greatly benefit it if allowed to join, it is also seen as a rapidly growing economy due to its excellent infrastructure and resources, it pretty much produces and has everything except oil which Middle East and even Europe depends on. Also when you talk about Turkey boasting about it's European, Western or Greek culture and heritage, they do no such thing, they are Turks and proud to be Turk nothing else, and the few of them that do that do have cultural, historical, links to these people like I mentioned earlier in detail whether you like it, believe or accept it or not. You mention the ethnic cleansing of Greeks, Armenians and other peoples by Turks but you fail to mention what atrocities these same people did to innocent unarmed Turkish citizens as well, people always mention the Armenian genocide but fail to look at the fact that there were Armenian gangs and looters attacking, raping, pillaging, killing, torturing, destroying Turkish people, buildings, etc. Double standard, those people should look at the mirror before they talk, judge or blame and accuse others of these and other things. You also mention that Turks have very little in common with Greeks and other Southeastern or western and other Europeans and they do more with Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Kurds, etc. Well like I said before they do have much in common with both Europeans and Western world as well as with the Middle Eastern/North African, Arabic, Persian, Kurdish and Islamic world. I'm not going to get into how they share cultural, historical, and other characteristics with Europeans and Western world as I did it in great detail above you can read it again or not I don't really care. I just wanted everyone to see the point of view on the issue from a Turk's mind.
 
I am agree with you Reflected. The Byzantine Empire was multi ethnic . This is not correct that St. Sophia in 1453, immediately after the capture of Constantinople, was converted into a mosque Ayasofya this does not show tolerance and respect for Christians !
 
This is not correct that St. Sophia in 1453, immediately after the capture of Constantinople, was converted into a mosque Ayasofya this does not show tolerance and respect for Christians !

Get over it, the Catholics enslaved entire nations in south America, entire civilizations disappeared. Popes issued papal bulls giving permission for the Catholics to enslave "all pagans alien to the faith of christ". The natives were more or less wiped out by the Protestants in the north.

The Saxons in north Germany were wiped out by Charlemagne, "Charles the Great". The christians destroyed all knowledge of Odinism and we would know nothing about it if some few texts had not survived in remote Iceland.

I could go on and on about the crimes of christians against humanity, the Inquisitions, the crusades, the witch and heretic burnings -- in fact it can be argued that the very religion is a crime against humanity that banishes all free thought and normal intuition -- so please dont even get started on this nonsense of accusations based on the past!
 

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