The Propagandist Europe about the Ottoman and the Turkey; A Scenario from the History -By Abdur Rahman Fuad


After the founding of the Republic of Turkey, it has been involved rapidly in international  organizational efforts under the Europe after the Second World War. Turkey joined the Council of Europe in 1949 and North Atlantic Alliance Organization (NATO) in 1952 and after the establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1958, Turkey had been applied for membership in 31 July 1959.

The EEC Council of Ministers has recommended that Turkey adopt an application for memberships and sign a partnership agreement that will be valid until the membership conditions are met. The Turkish-EU partnership and relationship started (1963-1999 period) when Ankara Agreement signed in 12 September 1963. One of the most important turning points that’s, Turkey-EU’s relation developments as their binding time which is important and have been witnessed. After that, the candidacy status of Turkey given at the Helsinki Summit in 1999. The decision taken by the EU Heads of State and Government to initiate the accession and negotiations to the EU on 3 October,2005 indicating that Turkey satisfies the political criteria adequately at the meeting that held in Brussels on 17 December, 2004 is the beginning of a new era in terms of Turkey-EU relations. But this unauthorised membership not enough for Turkey, as EU hanging their decisions about Turkey’s entrance as a full member in the EU. In some words, they do not want to Turkey as their partner in the EU as a Muslim country and which is connected in root with the middle east. Turkey’s internal problems as EU claim, are not hindrance to enter in European Union.

They cannot bear up to Turkey’s recent developments and a rising country with developments and power in the region. For over turn from this, they played crucial and vital role in last year (15th July 2016) coup attempt against Turkey. After the unsuccessful coup, they have been created some multiple ways to stopping the Turkey’s developments such as in the area of democracy and economy and helping the terrorist group such as PKK, PYD from one side as they are outlawed group in eyes of Turkey. From another side, we see in recent Europe’s behaviour against Turkey’s ministers and the people who have been suffered and injured by horses and dog’s attacks. The causes of this incidents and to understand these, we have must to go to the back and evaluation of the past history.

Before the founding of Turkey, the relations with the Europe, have been started from the period of the Ottoman Empire as with the fearful situations when Ottomans have been continued their lands to conquer as for to width and create the Islamic state. In this time,the Western historiography made a counterpart of the Turkish image in the West as they said that “Mother, Turks come”. The Ottoman Empire did not only bring Islam into the European territory but also, it’s continued to exist for 450 years in 400 places in the Balkans by forcing and the Vienna capitals in twice. This geography has taken into Islam as its own culture and language.

While the Ottoman Empire was at the top of its power, it saw Islamic civilization superior to Western civilizations. Therefore, the West was not seen the Ottomans as a model for them. Even in this period, being equal with the West and establishing diplomatic relations on equal terms is not at all desirable by the Ottoman Empire. The West also regards the Ottoman as a rival civilization and at the same time the Ottomans defining in their other identity. As a result, ,wars with the West played an important role in the Ottoman relation.

The Ottoman rulers wanted to recognize the sovereign authorities on these lands after they had settled in Europe from other European states. Other European states have not accepted it. Because accepting the sovereignty of the Ottoman State over European lands means to recognize the Ottoman State. The West insisted on avoiding it. The Turkish images with the West are depended on four key factors as in the eyes of Europe. Muslimness is a religion that Christianity does not tolerate. The feelings of superiority by the technology and economics that helps the West and Europe to dominate.

During the First World War, the Ottoman Empire stood by Germany and this helps the Turks to entered the Europe after the completing the World war 1.The last is, nationalist movements that emerged in the 19th century under the Ottoman and the national independence wars. In this case, we see a Turkish image that threatens for the West. With the weakening time of the Ottoman Empire, this danger has diminished and as the Turks retreated and the nations began to gain their independence.

On the basis of this, the Ottomans conquered are those who have not forced Christians and Jews to change their religion for living on the earth. Because the identities of the individuals were not recognized by nationality, but they belonged to by the religious communities. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the demands of the independence of the minorities began to come to an end.

At the beginning of the 19th century the Ottoman Empire had to accept the independence of Greece and the establishment of Serbia as an autonomous principality. The West supported this independence movement against the Ottoman danger. But it did not support the independence of the Turks. The Turks, however, are the last of the Ottoman descendants. If they are struggle for the independence, the Turks have a war of independence. Not only against Greece, but against the British.

Academic perspective

It is possible to find the traces of hatred against Turks and Ottomans in Europe even in famous English dictionaries which are frequently referred to all over the world. For example, in the Oxford English Reference Dictionary of 1995, one of the two manuscripts written in front of the “Turkic” word is the same: “brutal, savage or impregnable.”  In the English dictionary of Random House, the meaning given to the word “Turk” is “wild, wild or bully.” In Merriam-Webster’s English dictionary, one of the manners presented is: “cruel and cruel person.” The fact that a nation’s name is defined in such demeaning style even in dictionaries, in fact, reveals the gravity of the situation on its own.

Mentioned in the above not last that, since the conquest of Istanbul, religious ceremonies have begun against the Turks in the churches in Europe. The fear that the Turks would destroy Christianity, with the continual victory of the Ottomans and their progress towards all over the Europe. The church tried to take interesting measures in this situation. For example, the Archbishop of Prague ordered the church ring the bells every Friday at nine o’clock to remind the Turks of their victories over Christianity and the upcoming danger. The bishop of Vienna, Fabian, who lived in the 16th century, warned his congregation in his sermon: “There is no more merciless and more eye-dead creature than the Turks under this sky. Before the young, elder or the female men, they all murdered”. Even in the 16th century, about 2,500 books containing anti-Turks were written in Europe.

According to Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant sect, the Turkish invasion was a punishment to the Christians by the sending of creator for corruption and corruption in the church with the papal office. This type of negative propaganda about Turks, Ottomans and Islam was beginning in school years. For example, in a textbook that published in 1795, about the Islam they described as: “A corrupt religion made up by the great trickster Muhammad (Allah peace to be upon him) who is the person of whom to all the Turks have sinned until today”. In a geography book that published in London in 1833, the Turks was described in three words: Turks are generally tall, strong and resistant. They are a lazy, cruel and ignorant community. They like to smoke.

The horror in Europe that prevailed during the times when Ottomans victorious were although less and less and the hatred against the Turks never disappeared. Even with the idea of wiping out the Ottoman in the Balkan countries that gained independence from Europe, it continued strengthening. During the First World War, the propaganda activities of the UK, particularly accelerated. The British Prime Minister Lloyd George described the way to be followed in these studies as follows: “In the publications we make, we are committed to the idea that the Turks are devoid of administrative ability, behaved unfairly and most importantly in massacred. Of course, we should do it gradually and gradually that’s to spreading it. we do not understand our original aim.”

Abdur Rahman Fuad is studying Master’s at the Necmettin Erbakan University, Turkey.

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