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Anti-Turkism, also known as Turcophobia (Turkophobia) or anti-Turkish sentiment, is the hostility, fear, intolerance or racism against the Turkish people, Turkish culture, Turkic people, Turkic countries, or Turkey itself (previously the Ottoman Empire).
Anti-Turkism or Turkophobia does not only refer to intolerance against the Turks of Turkey, but also against the Turks as whole such as Azeri Turks, Qashqai Turks, Crimean Turks, Turkmen people, Bulgarian Turks, Macedonian Turks, Turkish Cypriots, Bosnian Turks, Turks of Georgia, Turks of the Dodecanese, Kosovo Turks, Croatian Turks, and Romanian Turks. It can also refer to racism against ethnic Turks of Turkey living outside of Turkey in the Turkish diaspora.
- 1 Early history
- 2 Contemporary Anti-Turkism
- 3 Quotes and sayings
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 External links
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The roots of Turcophobia can be traced back to the Hunnic invasions of Europe, where Huns or Turks were ruthless foreign nomadic hordes in Europe and inspired fear amongst local Europeans. The later evidence of anti-Turkism in Europe originated in 1453/54 in the form of lithurgical masses against Turks, missa contra Turcos in Latin. By 1870, the anti-Turk phenomenon is defined by the term Turcophobia. Turcophobia is traced to the fall of Constantinople and the Turkish Wars of the Late Middle Ages, viz. the attempts of Western Christianity to stem the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. By the middle of the 15th century special masses called missa contra turcas (translated as "mass against Turks") were celebrated in various places in Europe, the message of these masses was that victory over the Turks was only possible with the help of God and that a Christian community was therefore necessary to withstand the cruelty of the Turks.
As the Ottomans expanded their empire West, Western Europe came into more frequent contact and with Turks, often militarily. During the Ottoman Venetian Wars several notable battles were fought, such as the Ottoman conquest of the island of Cyprus, where over 56,000 Christian inhabitants were massacred or taken prisoner, and the island's commander Marco Antonio Bragadin was mutilated and flayed alive, despite Turkish assurances he and his men could leave upon surrender. Such accounts of atrocities became so frequent that the Turks quickly gained the reputation for cruelty and lack of honor in war.
Bishop Fabri of Vienna (1536–41) claimed that:
- "There are no crueler and more audacious villains under the heavens than the Turks who spare no age or sex and mercilessly cut down young and old alike and pluck unripe fruit from the wombs of mothers".
In the 16th century about 2,500 publications about the Turks were spread around Europe (over a thousand of which were in German), in these publications the image of the 'bloodthirsty Turk' was imprinted on reader. In fact in the period of 1480 to 1610, twice as many books were published about the Turkish threat to Europe than about the discovery of the continents of the New World.
During this time the Ottoman Empire had invaded the Balkans and had been besieging Vienna. There was much fear in Europe about the Ottoman advance, most profoundly in Germany. German Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther cleverly used these fears by asserting that "the "Turks" were the agents of the Devil who, along with the Antichrist located in the heart of the Catholic Church, Rome, would usher in the Last Days and the Apocalypse".
Luther had the view that the Turks' invasion of Europe was God's punishment of Christianity because it had allowed the corruption of both the Holy See and the Church. In 1518 when he defended his 95 theses, Luther claimed that God had sent the Turks to punish the Christians in the same way as he had sent war, plagues and earthquakes. The reply of Pope Leo X was the famous papal bull in which he threatened Luther with excommunication and attempted to portray Luther as a troublemaker who advocated capitulation to the Turks. In his writings On War Against the Turk and Military Sermon Against the Turks Martin Luther is "consistent in his theological conception of the Turks as a manifestation of God's chastising rod". Luther and his followers "particularly" made "important" contributions to the view that the war between Habsburgs and Ottomans was also a war "between Christ and antichrist" or "between God and the devil.
The Portuguese Empire, seeking to invade more lands in east Africa and other parts of the world, used any encounter with the "Terrible Turk" provided them with "a prime opportunity to establish credentials as champions of the faith on par with other Europeans".
Stories of the Wolf-Turk also gave Europe this negative image of the Turks. The Wolf-Turk was claimed to be a man-eating being, half animal half human with a Wolf's head and tail. Military power and cruelty were the recurring attributes in all these claims about the origins of the Turks.
During the 17th century Turks and Turkish life style continued to be portrayed negatively. According to some sympathetic orientalist authors, the usage of accounts of Turkish customs and Turkish people written during the 17th and 18th centuries, "served as an "ideological weapon" during the Enlightenment's arguments about the nature of government". Authors projected an image of Turkish people that is "inaccurate but accepted". Regarding writings on Turkish people and their life styles, "accuracy [was] of little importance; what matters [was] the illusion". Yet at the same time, contradictory and contemporary reports exist documenting the brutality, corrupt governance and atrocities of subjugated Christian peoples (such as the law forcing all Christian families to relinquish at least one child into Janissaries) to fulfill the Muslim quranic concept and requirement of Jizya as well as other accounts detailing rapes, forced conversions, murders under torture and full-scale massacres which occurred in Rhodope Mountain region of what is now Bulgaria
In Sweden, the Turks were designated the arch-enemy of Christianity. This is evident in a book entitled Luna Turcica eller Turkeske måne, anwissjandes lika som uti en spegel det mahometiske vanskelige regementet, fördelter uti fyra qvarter eller böcker ("Turkish moon showing as in a mirror the dangerous Mohammedan rule, divided into four quarters or books") which was published in 1694 and was written by the parish priest Erland Dryselius of Jönköping. In sermons the country's clergy preached about the Turks' general cruelty and bloodthirstiness and of how they systematically burned and plundered the areas they conquered. In a Swedish school book published in 1795 Islam was described as "the false religion that had been fabricated by the great deceiver Muhammad, to which the Turks to this day universally confess".
- "Until the end of the seventeenth century the 'Ottoman peril' lurked alongside Europe to represent for the whole of Christian civilization a constant danger, and in time European civilization incorporated that peril and its lore, its great events, figures, virtues, and vices, as something woven into the fabric of life."
In 1718, James Puckle demonstrated his new invention, the Defence Gun, better known as the Puckle gun,—a tripod-mounted, single-barreled flintlock weapon fitted with a multishot revolving cylinder, designed for shipboard use to prevent boarding. Puckle demonstrated two versions of the basic design: one, intended for use against Christian enemies, fired conventional round bullets, while the second variant, designed to be used against the Muslim Turks, fired square bullets, designed by Kyle Tunis, which were considered to be more damaging and would, according to its patent, convince the Turks of the "benefits of Christian civilization."
English author Charles Dickens, in an 1844 poem titled A Word in Season, criticized Turkish people for "ruthlessly" defacing "God's living image", saying that they lived in "brutal ignorance, and toil, and dearth". Dickens contrasts these traits with Britain's "highly civilized and thinking nation".
British MP (and off and on Prime Minister) William Ewart Gladstone criticized the Ottoman Empire's war against Bulgarian rebels. A pamphlet he published in September 1876, Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East, attacked the Disraeli government for its indifference to the Ottoman Empire's violent repression of the Bulgarian April uprising. An often-quoted excerpt illustrates his rhetorical powers:
Let the Turks now carry away their abuses, in the only possible manner, namely, by carrying off themselves. Their Zaptiehs and their Mudirs, their Bimbashis and Yuzbashis, their Kaimakams and their Pashas, one and all, bag and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from the province that they have desolated and profaned. This thorough riddance, this most blessed deliverance, is the only reparation we can make to those heaps and heaps of dead, the violated purity alike of matron and of maiden and of child; to the civilization which has been affronted and shamed; to the laws of God, or, if you like, of Allah; to the moral sense of mankind at large. There is not a criminal in a European jail, there is not a criminal in the South Sea Islands, whose indignation would not rise and over-boil at the recital of that which has been done, which has too late been examined, but which remains unavenged, which has left behind all the foul and all the fierce passions which produced it and which may again spring up in another murderous harvest from the soil soaked and reeking with blood and in the air tainted with every imaginable deed of crime and shame. That such things should be done once is a damning disgrace to the portion of our race which did them; that the door should be left open to their ever so barely possible repetition would spread that shame over the world!
Let me endeavour, very briefly to sketch, in the rudest outline what the Turkish race was and what it is. It is not a question of Mohammedanism simply, but of Mohammedanism compounded with the peculiar character of a race. They are not the mild Mohammedans of India, nor the chivalrous Saladins of Syria, nor the cultured Moors of Spain. They were, upon the whole, from the black day when they first entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity. Wherever they went a broad line of blood marked the track behind them, and, as far as their dominion reached, civilization vanished from view. They represented everywhere government by force as opposed to government by law. – Yet a government by force can not be maintained without the aid of an intellectual element. – Hence there grew up, what has been rare in the history of the world, a kind of tolerance in the midst of cruelty, tyranny and rapine. Much of Christian life was contemptuously left alone and a race of Greeks was attracted to Constantinople which has all along made up, in some degree, the deficiencies of Turkish Islam in the element of mind!
Within the Ottoman Empire
Within the Ottoman Empire, the name "Turk" was sometimes used to denote the Turkmen backwoodsmen, bumpkins, or the illiterate peasants in Anatolia. "Etrak-i bi-idrak", for example, was an Ottoman play on words, meaning "the ignorant Turk".
|“||The ordinary Turks (Turkmen) did not have a sense of belonging to a ruling ethnic group. In particular, they had a confused sense of self-image. Who were they: Turks, Muslims or Ottomans? Their literature was sometimes Persian, sometimes Arabic, but always courtly and elitist. There was always a huge social and cultural distance between the Imperial centre and the Anatolian periphery. As Bernard Lewis expressed it: "in the Imperial society of the Ottomans the ethnic term Turk was little used, and then chiefly in a rather derogatory sense, to designate the Turcoman nomads or, later, the ignorant and uncouth Turkish-speaking peasants of the Anatolian villages." (Lewis 1968: 1)
In the words of a British observer of the Ottoman values and institutions at the start of the twentieth century: "The surest way to insult an Ottoman gentleman is to call him a 'Turk'. His face will straightway wear the expression a Londoner's assumes, when he hears himself frankly styled a Cockney. He is no Turk, no savage, he will assure you, but an Ottoman subject of the Sultan, by no means to be confounded with certain barbarians styled Turcomans, and from whom indeed, on the male side, he may possibly be descended."(Davey 1907: 209)
Before the 1960s, Turkey had "relatively low emigration". After the adoption of new constitution in 1961, Turkish citizens began migrating outside. Gradually, in certain Western countries, Turks became a "prominent ethnic minority group", and thus, become "increasingly visible and vocal". But since the beginning Turks were subject to discrimination against them. Even when host countries launched a shift in policy regarding their immigrants "only the Turkish workers were excluded" from them.
The term "Turk" has acquired a meaning similar to "barbarian" or "heathen" in various European languages, or use "Turk" as a slur or curse. Due to that negative influence, it had instances of negative use and image in the U.S.
Armenia–Turkey relations have historically been hostile primarily due to the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and its denial by Turkey. According to a 2007 survey, 78% of Armenians see Turkey as a threat.
The Turkish population of Bulgaria before the country was reformed in 1878 is estimated at one third of the total. By 1876, approximately 70% of the fertile arable land belonged to the Turks. Afterward, an estimated 220,000 Turks migrated to Turkey between 1923 and 1949, though the Turkish government encouraged the emigration. Then, another wave of Turks left Bulgaria, some 155,000 were either expelled or allowed to leave in 1949–51, though the emigration occurred following an agreement with the Turkish government.
In 1984, the Bulgarian government started a Bulgarisation process whereby policies were instigated to limit the cultural and ethnic characteristics of Bulgarian Turks. Approximately 800,000 Turks were forced to change their names to Bulgarian names. Furthermore, Turks were not allowed to attend the Muslim religious ceremonies, speak Turkish in public places or wear traditional Turkish clothing. This eventually led to the biggest mass exodus in Europe since World War II ensued after the border with Turkey was opened in June 1989 and in the span of three months approximately 350,000 Turks left Bulgaria on tourist visas (hence the event is known as The Big Excursion) and crossed the border into Turkey. Eventually, especially after the removal of Todor Zhivkov from power, over 150,000 Turks returned to Bulgaria, but more than 200,000 chose to remain in Turkey permanently.
The current Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borisov (2009–2013 and again since 2014) has been accused of having anti-Turkish tendencies. In December 2009, Borisov "declared himself in favor of a motion put forth by the nationalist party ATAKA and its leader for holding a referendum over the broadcast of daily Turkish language news emissions on the Bulgarian National TV", but he later withdrew support. The Turkish prime minister "expressed his concern of rising anti-Turkish sentiments in Bulgaria" to the Bulgarian prime minister. The Turkish Foreign Ministry also "expressed its concern over the rising heated rhetoric in Bulgaria" on the issue of the Turkish language news. According to a report by Ivan Dikov, "not just ATAKA but a large number of Bulgarians have resented the news in Turkish".
Moreover, in 2009 Borissov referred to Turks (and Roma) as "bad human material". The vice-president of the Party of European Socialists, Jan Marinus Wiersma claimed that he "has already crossed the invisible line between right wing populism and extremism."
Although anti-Turkism in Croatia isn't high like in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia, due to Turkish supports to Croatia at Yugoslav War, but some Croats hold a bad view over Turkish people, as some Croats, feeling themselves Christians, dislike the Turks – a majority Muslim population.
The island of Cyprus became an independent state in 1960, with power sharing between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots under the 1960 Zurich agreements. In December 1963, the events known as Bloody Christmas (tr:Kanlı Noel) occurred where Turkish Cypriots were ousted from the Republic and Greek Cypriots initiated a military campaign against them, which led to the beginning of ethnic clashes between the two communities that were to continue for 11 years. At this time, Turkish Cypriots bore the heavier cost in terms of casualties and some 25,000 Turkish Cypriots became internally displaced accounting to about a fifth of their population. These Turkish Cypriots had become internally displaced and lived as refugees for at least ten years before the 1974 Turkish invasion. By the late 1960s, tension continued to grow and approximately 60,000 Turkish Cypriots left their homes and moved into enclaves. This resulted in an exodus of Turkish Cypriots with the majority migrating to the United Kingdom whilst others went to Turkey, North America and Australia.
It has been observed that Turks are "the most prominent ethnic minority group in contemporary Germany". But discrimination against Turkish minority "occurs in various everyday situations" in Germany. After the adoption of the 1961 constitution, Turkish citizens began migrating outside the country. While the population of Turkish immigrant workers reached 3 million, Turkish minorities have become "well-known butts of welfare chauvinism and racial violence in Germany". Turks were subjected to negative jokes and public discourse and were portrayed as "ludicrously different in their food tastes, dress, names, and even in their ability to develop survival techniques". Those "eye-opening" jokes contained such animosity and aggressivenes such that it was "reflected in the actual increasing violence towards Turks". As a result of this discrimination, "serious behavioral consequences of prejudice against Turks is prevailing in Germany".
The number of violent acts by right-wing extremists in Germany increased dramatically between 1990 and 1992. On November 25, 1992, three Turkish residents were killed in a firebombing in Mölln (Northern Germany). The attack prompted even further perplexity since the victims were neither refugees nor lived in a hostel. The same was true for the incident in a Westphalian town on May 29, 1993; where another arson attack took place in Solingen on a Turkish family that had resided in Germany for twenty-three years, five of whom were burnt to death. Several neighbours heard someone shout Heil Hitler! before dousing the front porch and door with gasoline and setting the fire to the home. However, most Germans condemned these attacks on foreigners and many marched in candlelight processions.
According to Greg Nees, "because Turks are both darker-skinned and Muslim, conservative Germans are largely against granting them citizenship."
A Turkish community currently live in Western Thrace which is located in the north-eastern part of Greece. After conquering Greece in the 15th century, Turks owned 84% of the land in Western Thrace in 1922, but now the minority estimates this figure to be between 20–40%. This stems from various past practices of the Greek administration whereby ethnic Greeks were encouraged to purchase Turkish land with soft loans granted by the state. The Western Thrace Turks have traditionally been estimated to number between 120,000 and 130,000.: Yet, this is the estimate of the Turkish state, and the Greeks claim that the Muslim population consists of various ethnic and religious backgrounds of which the Pomaks (Muslim people of Slavic origins and language) and Muslim Gypsies (Roma-related people of Muslim religion) make up the majority of the overall Muslim groups with Sunni Muslims that self-ascribe ethnically as Turks being the minority. In terms of religion, next to Sunni Muslims, the Pomaks and Gypsies present sizeable Alevite and Bektashi groups. Thus, the Greek government refers to the overall Muslim community - the one Turkey ascribes as "Turkish community" - as Greek Muslims or Hellenic Muslims, and does not recognise any specific Turkish minority in Western Thrace. Greek courts have also outlawed the use of the word 'Turkish' to describe the community so as to avoid the term being wrongly ascribed indiscriminately to unrelated Muslim citizens. In 1988, the Greek High Court affirmed a 1986 decision of the Court of Appeals of Thrace in which the Union of Turkish Associations of Western Thrace was ordered closed for reasons of illegally ascribing the term on unrelated/unaware people. The court held that the use of the word 'Turkish' referred to citizens of Turkey, and could not be used to describe citizens of Greece.
Anti-Turkism in India is traceable to historical factors as well as modern Turkish support for Pakistan in its conflicts with India.
Having fought the Ottoman Empire in the Siege of Malta of 1565, the Maltese still have colourful vocabulary regarding this event. For example, when the sun is visible during rainfall, the expression "tghammed tork" (translates to "a Turk has been baptised", which was considered to be a rare event), or alternatively "twieled tork" ("a Turk was born"), is often used. Another expression is "Haqq ghat-torok" (curse on the Turks!), used when something goes wrong. Religious representations reveal the extent of this historic rivalry, with a diplomatic incident nearly arising following the wrong depiction of the Turkish flag instead of that of the Ottoman Empire in a religious statue displayed for a village festa in Vittoriosa.
The Netherlands has a sizable Turkish minority group as well as Germany. The Turkish ethnic minority group is the "second largest ethnic minority group living in the Netherlands" and their culture is considered to "differ substantially from Dutch culture". Even though progressive policies are installed, "especially compared with those in some other European countries such as Germany" Human Rights Watch criticized the Netherlands for new legislations violating the human rights of Turkish ethnic minority group. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance published its third report on Netherlands in 2008. In this report the Turkish minority group is described as a notable community which has been particularly affected by "stigmatisation of and discrimination against members of minority groups" as a result of controversial policies of the governments of Netherlands. The same report also noted that "the tone of Dutch political and public debate around integration and other issues relevant to ethnic minorities has experienced a dramatic deterioration".
Recently, use of the word "allochtonen" as a "catch-all expression" for "the other" emerged as a new development. European Network against Racism, an international organisation supported by European Commission reported that, in Netherlands, half of the Turks reported having experienced racial discrimination. Same report points "dramatic growth of islamophobia" parallel with antisemitism. Another international organisation European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia highlighted negative trend in Netherlands, regarding attitudes towards minorities, compared to average EU results. The analysis also noted that compared to most other Europeans, in the Netherlands, majority group is "more in favour of cultural assimilation of minorities" rather than "cultural enrichment by minority groups".
Anti-Turkism in Poland dated back at the time the Ottoman's attempt to conquest Europe, and the most notable figure, was King Jan Sobieski of Poland, who had totally destroyed the Turks at Vienna 1683.
Russia and former Soviet Union
Within the Soviet Union, ethnic cleansing of Turks during World War II took the form of mass deportations carried out by the NKVD and the Red Army. The reason for the deportation was because the Soviet Union was preparing to launch a pressure campaign against Turkey. In June 1945 Vyacheslav Molotov, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, formally presented a demand to the Turkish Ambassador in Moscow for the surrender of three Armenian provinces (Kars, Ardahan and Artvin). Moscow was also preparing to support Armenian claims to several other Armenian provinces. Thus, war against Turkey seemed possible, and Joseph Stalin wanted to clear the strategic Turkish population (especially those situated in Meskheti) located near the Turkish-Georgian border which were likely to be hostile to Soviet intentions. The deportation is relatively poorly documented, but Soviet sources suggests that an estimated 115,000 Turks were deported mainly to Central Asia, most of which settled in Uzbekistan. However, numerous Turks died along the way.
In 1989, ethnic clashes between the Uzbeks and Turks occurred. According to official figures, 103 people died and over 1,000 were wounded. Moreover, 700 houses were destroyed and more than 90,000 Meskhetian Turks were driven out of Uzbekistan. The events of 1989 are considered by the Turks as their 'second deportation'. Those that remained in Uzbekistan complained (in private due to the fear of repercussions) of ethnic discrimination.
Although some have returned to Meskheti, a problem has constantly been that Georgians and Armenians who settled into the homes of the Turks have vowed to take up arms against any return movements. Moreover, many Georgians have advocated that the Meskhetian Turks should be sent to Turkey, 'where they belong'.
More recently, some Turks in Russia, especially those in Krasnodar, have faced hostility from the local population. The Krasnodar Meskhetian Turks have suffered significant human rights violations, including the deprivation of their citizenship. They are deprived of civil, political and social rights and are prohibited from owning property and employment. Thus, since 2004, many Turks have left the Krasnodar region for the United States as refugees, which is now becoming their third deportation. They are still barred from full repatriation to Georgia.
Nowadays, many Georgians have antipathy (and sometimes hatred) toward Turks, due historical reasons and Turkish migration in Adjara region.
Both Syria and Turkey once had a traditionally good relationship, however Syria has a conflict with Turkey over Hatay Province, which was claimed by both countries as part of their direct territory.
Quotes and sayings
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|“||They [the Ottomans] were, upon the whole, from the black day when they first entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity. Wherever they went, a broad line of blood marked the track behind them, and, as far as their dominion reached, civilization disappeared from view. They represented everywhere government by force, as opposed to government by law.||”|
|— William Gladstone, 1876|
|“||The barbarian power, which has been for centuries seated in the very heart of the Old World, which has in its brute clutch the most famous countries of classical and religious antiquity and many of the most fruitful and beautiful regions of the earth ... ignorantly holding in its possession one half of the history of the whole world.||”|
|— Cardinal Newman (1801–1890)|
|“||... tyrants of the women and enemies of arts ...||”|
|— Voltaire (1694–1778)|
|“||... to chase away from Europe these barbaric usurpers ...||”|
|— Voltaire (1694–1778)|
|“||I wish fervently that the Turkish barbarians be chased away immediately out of the country [Greece] of Xenophon, Socrates, Plato, Sophocles and Euripides. If we wanted, it could be done soon but seven crusades of superstition have been undertaken and a crusade of honour will never take place. We know almost no city built by them; they let decay the most beautiful establishments of Antiquity, they reign over ruins.||”|
|— Voltaire (1694–1778), The Orient's Christian Realm|
|“||When I consider history, I find that there has been no nation that has practiced more blasphemy of God, brutally, shameful fornication, and every kind of wild and chaotic living than the Turks.||”|
|— Philipp Melanchthon|
|“||The gentlest man among these pious Turks,
God’s living image ruthlessly defaces;
|— Charles Dickens, A Word in Season, 1844|
|“||Lastly, I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilization than you seem inclined to admit. Remember what risk the nations of Europe ran, not so many centuries ago of being overwhelmed by the Turks, and how ridiculous such an idea now is! The more civilised so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.||”|
|— Charles Darwin|
|“||I never disliked a Chinaman as I do these degraded Turks and Arabs, and when Russia is ready to war with them again, I hope England and France will not find it good breeding or good judgment to interfere.||”|
|— Mark Twain, 1869|
|“||Mosques are plenty, churches are plenty, graveyards are plenty, but morals and whiskey are scarce.||”|
|— Mark Twain, 1869|
|“||... and lied like a Turk when he said it.||”|
|— Mark Twain, 1869|
|“||... such individuals as the furthermost Turks found in the remote North, the Negroes found in the remote South, and those who resemble them from among them that are with us in these climes. The status of those is like that of irrational animals.||”|
- Websters New Collegiate Dictionary: "One who is cruel or tyrannical." (noted as archaic)
- Concise Oxford Dictionary: "Ferocious, wild or unmanageable person."
- Random House Dictionary: "A cruel, brutal and domineering man."
Many vices in the world came to be associated with the Turks as they moved westward towards Europe. The following is an incomplete list of sayings about Turks in various countries of Europe and the Middle East.
- "թուրք" ("Turk") is commonly used to question someone's loyalty or criticize one's moral qualities: "հո թուրք չե՞ս" ("Are you a Turk?")
- "թուրքի տուն" ("Turk's house") is a phrase to describe disordered and a very dirty house
- ако ще турско да стане (ako šte tursko da stane). Literally: Even if the Turkish [yoke] would be reimposed. The Turkish yoke (1396–1878) is an epitome of odious time, tribulations and atrocious oppression in the Bulgarian-speaking countries.
Idiom:(after negation) indicates extreme obstinacy, reluctance: by no manner of means. Synonym: by no means
- турчин ( Turk). Idiom: someone who doesn't let his wife to go out of the house and is oppressive to women.
- bande som en tyrk ("to swear like a Turk") denotes a person who swears heavily and often.
- en tyrk ("a Turk") denotes a particularly cruel, stupid, or violent man—especially a man with a rapacious appetite for women, or a man who treats women in a humiliating or scornful way.
- Turc was once used in proverbial expressions such as C'est un vrai Turc ("He's a real Turk"), used to indicate that a person was harsh and pitiless.
- getürkt ("turked") describes a fake or counterfeit document. "Dieser Führerschein ist getürkt." ("This driving license is a fake.").
- Kruzitürken ("Kuruzen-Turks") In present-day South German language kruzitürken is a swear word, combining Kuruzen (Kuruc) and Türken (Turks), with the meaning of "curse it".
- Έγινε Τούρκος ("He became a Turk") denotes extreme anger towards someone or because of something ("He was so angry that he resembled a Turk").
- Τούρκος καλός μόνο νεκρός ("Good Turk is only the dead one") seen as a curse against the Turks due to The Pontic genocide, Aegean dispute, and Cyprus dispute
- Κάνει σαν Τούρκος ("He acts like a Turk") said when somebody is acting in a barbaric/uncivilised or very rude manner (ex. sitting on a table). It can also be used when breaching Orthodox traditions (ex. eating meat during Easter lent).
- tuluka paya ("Turkish guy") is a derogatory reference to Muslims being cruel in Tamil Nadu.
- Tork-e khar (ترک خر) ("Turkish donkey") is a derogatory insult usually directed against Azeri Turks and Turkic people. It usually means a stubborn person who does not accept any reasons and wants to achieve everything with force.
- bestemmia come un Turco ("he swears like a Turk")
- Mamma li Turchi! ("Oh mother, the Turks are coming!") is one of the most used Italian phrase to suggest an imminent danger, as when the Ottoman Turks threatened Europe
- Fumare come un Turco ("To smoke like a Turk") is a phrase that describes a person who smokes a lot.
- Quando puzza d'un Turco, anche la colera si sfugge ("When there is the stench of a Turk, even the cholera hides") Implies that even the cholera, one of the deadliest of epidemics in Europe is afraid of Turks.
- Il Turco ed il cane rabbioso sono ugualmente crudeli; ma con il cane forse si potrebbe ragionare ("A Turk and a rabid dog are equally cruel, but you just might reason with the dog") Implies Turks are cruel for the sake of cruelty.
- Freddo, come il cuor d'un turco ("Cold, like a Turk's heart") Another allusion to cruelty.
- Arutai yaban hito (アルタイ野蛮人) ("Altaic barbarians"), a term that just growing currently in Japan, referring to Turks, Mongols and Koreans, notably the Turks and the Koreans, using as a racist or an insult slur reminding to Turkey's mass crimes on their neighbors, but also used against Turanian peoples.
- Iswed tork ("As black as a Turk"), referring to someone of dark skin colour
- Ipejjep daqs tork ("He smokes as much as a Turk"), referring to a chainsmoker
- Sar tork ("He became a Turk"), referring to someone who lost his faith
- Twieled tork ("A turk was born)", referring to when it rains and there is the sun still shining
- Għadu Tork! ("He is still a Turk"), referring to a non-baptised person
- Ara ġej it-Tork għalik ("Look the Turk is coming for you"), mothers used to scare children about the Turk coming for them when they misbehaved.
- It-Torok ("By the Turks") when something strange happens this phrase is idomatically used as an exclamation.
- Ħaqq it-Torok ("Curse for the turks"), literally swearing when something goes wrong
- Qattus it-Torok ("To hell with the turks"), as above. Very common idiomatic usage.
- Xit-Torok trid? (literally "What the turkish do you want"), signifying what on earth do you want
- La Torka (the Turkish way), to stay in a squatting position.
- It-torok imorru fej seħet Alla (the Turks go where God cursed), rarely used, an expression showing intolerance against non-believers.
- "eruit zien als een Turk" ("to look like a Turk") means to be dirty, disgusting
- "rijden als een Turk" ("driving like a Turk") means someone is a bad driver
- For decades after the Turkish immigrants came to the Netherlands most encyclopedias and dictionaires, including the Van Dale, still referred to a Turk as someone who is dirty, barbaric and bloodthirsty, instead of someone who lives in Turkey
- "Măi, turcule" (You, Turk) or "a fi turc" (to be a Turk) is an expression used to address or to refer to a person who fails to comprehend, is ignorant, stubborn or narrow-minded
- "a fuma ca un turc" ("to smoke like a Turk") is an expression used to denote a person who smokes a lot
- "doar nu dau/vin turcii" (roughly "Hold your horses!", literally "the Turks aren't coming[, are they?]") is an expression used to ironically calm someone's impulsiveness down
- "Незваный гость хуже Татарина" (Nezvanǎj gost huže Tatarina) literally "An unwanted guest is worse than a Tatar", with Tatars being a Turkic people living in Russia, however Tatars are not the Turkish people.
- "puši ko Turčin / пуши ко Турчин" is a phrase that means "he smokes like a Turk" describing a person who smokes a lot
- "Tarrakni" ("He turkified me") in reference to the corruption of the Ottoman rule of Tunisia. It means "he ruined me"., however it is also used recently in Syria, talking about the corruption of Turkey at the Syrian Civil War.
- Red Jews
- Bulgarization of Turks in Bulgaria
- Persecution of Muslims
- 1990 Komotini events
- The Lustful Turk
- Libaridian, Gerard J. (2004). Modern Armenia: people, nation, state. Transaction Publishers. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-7658-0205-7.
One consequence of the shift from anti-communism to anti-Turkism was that an important segment of the Diaspora lived through moments ...
- Khalidi, Rashid (1991). The origins of Arab nationalism. Columbia University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-231-07435-3.
In the first place, Arabist ideology, including a bitter anti-Turkism, was fully formulated long before the Young Turk revolution
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The signature of the documents marks a symbolic breakthrough in the hostile relations between Turkey and Armenia.
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