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I suggest replacing the map used in the infobox (a normal satellite imagery should suffice) of the article along with the legend that goes with it. First there is still missing citation on the orange and yellow colour and second - it creates a contradiction with the article on Greece, which clearly states that it is situated on the southern tip of the peninsula. If the Aegean Islands and Crete are the reason for not qualifying it as a Balkan country, I would rethink such a statement because with the same logic we can say that the UK doesn't belong to a single continent because of all the remote territories it consists of.--Rbaleksandar (talk) 11:15, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
Whether Italy is always included seems to depend on geographer and where he places the border. But Slovenia's coastline is always included as Balkan while Slovenia is generally classified Central Europe. So the Balkan does cover Central European territory if this means anything. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 01:05, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
RfC about what parts of Europe shall be mentioned in the lede
For many years the article described Balkan as a region in southeastern Europe, since around 2012 with a link to Southeast Europe. In March 2017 the description was changed to "Eastern and Southeastern Europe" with links to both Eastern Europe and Southeast Europe. The rationale was "Bulgaria and Romania are in Eastern Europe, Serbia, Albania, etc. Southeast." In the beginning of December, also Central Europe was added to the description with rationale "Slovenia is by every definition Central Europe, and the coastline is by every definition Balkan". This was heavily challenged in something that starts to look like an edit war. Now it is time to discuss and reach a consensus. --T*U (talk) 23:17, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Option 1 is my favourite, since it does not really connect to any of the different (and disputed) sub-areas of Europe, thus avoiding the eternal discussion about "country x is not in y-ern Europe, but in z-ern Europe. If there is a consensus to use linking, I would prefer option 4 as the most accurate. Option 3 is the least acceptable version. --T*U (talk) 23:17, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Option 1 is by far the best. As the articles say, both the "Balkans" and "Southeastern Europe" are imprecisely defined, and trying to define all the variant combinations is a fool's errand. --Macrakis (talk) 00:09, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Option 1 I think the clearest and simplest, considering it's indefinable area currently. scope_creep (talk) 06:53, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Option 1 as clear and simple. Doremo (talk) 07:41, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Option 2 only because it provides a link to a 'clarifying' article. All -ern description of parts of Europe are imprecise and disputable but this is clear and largely accepted and the main purpose of this text is to indicate where the region is. Or Option 1Pincrete (talk) 15:16, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Option 1 The description is the most prominent among the reliable academic sources. JosephusOfJerusalem (talk) 15:18, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
Option 1 seems like the simplest way to go about things. Option 2 is also decent, although 1 is better. Egsan Bacon (talk) 04:04, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Option 1(Summoned by bot) Agreed that this appears reasonable, since it avoids explicitly linking to disputed terminology. Ultimately, of course, it's the sources that should tell Wikipedia what to say. I have not done research, but if sources say "southeastern" and "eastern," that's what we should say, and if sources don't say "central," neither should we. A thought for consideration: the titles removed/unlinked by Option 1 might be added as links in See Also. DonFB (talk) 08:27, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
Option 1 as a way to sidestep thorny issues about "Central"/"Eastern" debates which have political and occasionally nationalist (i.e. Croatia-Serbia) connotations. --Calthinus (talk) 22:45, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Juicy Oranges: I agree with you on one score: If Eastern Europe is going to be mentioned (as in the current version), then so must Central Europe. Your statement there is no definition of Slovenia which places it anywhere other than Central Europe in its entirety is, however, not correct. In this very article there are sources that put it in Southeast Europe and even in Southern Europe and Eastern Europe (the last one is a remnant of Cold War thinking and hardly relevant). In this book it is stated that "Many textbooks have placed [Slovenia] within the frame of Central Europe, but some have preserved the formerly more common definition and have positioned the country in South-Eastern Europe." One example of the last is this. The definitions of the different "x-ern Europe" are just not generally accepted, which is why I prefer no linking at all. But if there is a consensus for linking, I agree with you that option 4 is best (while option 3 is completely unacceptable). --T*U (talk) 20:32, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks TU-nor. Yes I see your point entirely. You've helped me realise that I worded myself incorrectly. Naturally Slovenia is categorised by other compass points and I hadn't forgotten this: the term "Eastern Europe" is frequently mentioned for ex-socialism Europe, and sometimes causes unsuspecting tourists to provoke blow-back in those countries if they mention it to the wrong people (e.g. anybody disillusioned with the modern state of affairs or people that were happier with the old order and are not anti-Russian don't mind Eastern Europe / authority figures including police, elitists and general apologists for the new regimes reject the term Eastern Europe). Here I speak confidently for my own region (former Yugoslavia) and ex-Czechoslovak lands and Poland. Anyhow, what I actually wanted to say is that where the option of Central Europe is presented, then Slovenia fits into all models - as do Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia and Poland. In some respects, the Balkans epitomises "southeastern Europe". But I see no problem mentioning somewhere on the lede (even next line) that the Balkan at its greatst extent occupies a small part of Central Europe. The reason it is difficult is because Wikipedia practice and policies (such as now) invite a form of WP:SYNTH. Although consensus is a good thing, you cannot harmonise a "majority view" with WP:OR or SYNTH! The big problem we have is that everything concerning "Europe" and its subdivisions is totally arbitrary and I mean this on the part of the sources. Hence the disagreements! --Juicy Oranges (talk) 10:19, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, not only are the "x-ern", "y-ern" and "z-ern Europe" ill-defined, they have also connotations that rouse a lot of feelings, as you describe. That is, of course, the reason for the many examples of POV edits to put their own country into the preferred category, often resulting in edit wars. Adding to this that the Balkans itself is similarly ill-defined, I think the formula "with various and disputed borders" is a fair summary of the section "Definitions and boundaries". I might support an addition of some more detail in the lede, but I am afraid if will be difficult to formulate. --T*U (talk) 13:13, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Juicy Oranges by many definitions Slovenia is not part of the Balkans. I.e. Misha Glenny's history book The Balkans explicitly excludes Slovenia and says it's not part of the Balkans. I can only speak for myself but I've never heard Slovenia called "Balkan" except in a Yugoslav context or by some people from former Yugoslavia, who seem to use "Balkan" as some sort of codeword for "Yugoslav". --Calthinus (talk) 22:57, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
@Calthius. I know this. We've already stated that the term Balkan is - not so much disputed but - has multiple definitions. Slovenia sits at the frontier. When a writer applies the term to entire countries, Slovenia is left out, but when applied to a region, it is accepted that part of Slovenia lies within. At the far end of the extreme, Italy is included. Italians don't like it, but then the Slovenes and Serbs of Trieste never invited their rule!!! As a matter of fact, if the Italian Risorgimento had achieved greater success it would have engulfed vast areas of ex-Yugoslav territory and by that I mean on the undisputed Balkan. That's going off-topic though. The term "Balkan" in the region in question generally refers to an undefined wider area and specifically to the new struggles we all face since the changes from 1991. What's good is good and what's bad is bad but broadly speaking, we're all affected the same way (whether sitting four hours in a border queue which didn't exist before 1991, mucking about changing currency every ten minutes, or working in unregulated sweat shops for German or Greek tycoons). It's likely the term includes Bulgaria, Albania, and maybe Romania but never Greece.
@TU-Nor. How would you feel about a late Option 5? Leave out compass points at the beginning, and just say this is a peninsula in Europe stretching from Slovenia to European Turkey (rough description). Then say that the term is largely synonymous with "southeastern Europe". That should pretty much do it. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 16:43, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Juicy Oranges: No way! Mentioning names of specific states is even worse, especially when the mentioned states are among the reasons for the phrase "with various and disputed borders". Our text states about an earlier version of Encyclopædia Britannica that "it notes Turkey as a non-Balkan state and the inclusion of Slovenia and the Transylvanian part of Romania in the region as dubious". --T*U (talk) 07:26, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Is there any source that gives this definition? My point is that the article must rely on what sources actually say, even though they are not unanimous. The article should not create an original definition in an attempt to reconcile sourced but conflicting definitions. DonFB (talk) 10:52, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
We may just be banging our heads against the wall. Europe itself is a continent based on exceptionalism as there is no water divide of any nature with Asia, and everyone has his own definition of Europe. The Balkan ditto. It is a peninsula on the basis of having sea on three sides but there is no isthmus which means it is rigidly welded to the wider landmass. Nobody can satisfy everybody with where the peninsula begins but nobody can dispute that mainland Greece is off this peninsula. Its usage has overt political connotations (entirely negative) but can sometimes be used to refer to a common culture (less abrasive but somewhat false since the culture in the Balkan itself has a continuum which blends with external areas meaning no exclusive properties). Even "Central Europe" is a politicised concept that places at its hub Germany rather than the region containing all nominated midpoints (from Hungary to Lithuania - entirely east of Germany). The difference here is that mainstream coverage on Central Europe is 100% positive. Now when you consider these arbitrary feats, it is not hard to work out why there is grave objection to the Balkan and Central Europe sharing a single hector of farmland in any country, and likewise why so often the "pro-European" apologists from this region spew forth that they are not part of the Balkan as they belong in Central Europe. This article can only analyse what is meant by the usage "Balkan" as there is simply no way to explain it geographically. With this, if we cannot be precise and explain what it means at its most extreme then I'm afraid I have no further suggestions or ideas on the matter. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 08:23, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
These things you mention should be, and to some degree is discussed in the article. For the lede, I am quite happy with presenting the uncertainty as the main summary of the article. --T*U (talk) 10:44, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
The phrase "various and disputed borders" can easily be interpreted to mean: national borders within the region are disputed; or, the definition of the extent of the region is disputed. I believe the lede refers to the disputed nature of the extent of the region, not that some national borders within it are disputed. To remove the ambiguity, I suggest: "...with various and disputed definitions." If, however, the lede means both, then it could say: "...with various and disputed definitions and national borders." DonFB (talk) 11:35, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Good point. I am sure it is the extent of the region that is meant. --T*U (talk) 10:11, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Just a comment here. The article Rumelia is about a one-time major territory on the European side of the border which was controlled by Ottoman Turkey. That article states that the subject region is what is now the "Balkan". Likewise the Central Europe article acknowledges that territory stretching to the Balkan. Whatever the editors decide to do, it should be reflected on all three articles so they don't contradict one another. --Edin Balgarin (talk) 08:03, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
The Rumelia article was obviously too specific about what today constitutes the Balkans, so I changed the lede there a bit. The Central Europe article is fine, since it discusses different definitions of CE, whether they include parts of the Balkans or not. --T*U (talk) 10:11, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Rumelia may need a tweak. Since this too refers to all European territory once ruled over by Ottoman Turkey, it stretches well beyond every stretch of the term Balkan. The map itself shows Transylvania, Moldova and the Ukrainian coastal strip near Moldova as forming part of Rumelia, whilst Turkish rule also spread to Crimea. Explaining this is the same mouthful as the problems we are having at Balkans. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 12:57, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
One would think that the opposite redirect would be better, as the introductory text indicates that "Balkan music" is the describing term. But that may need a discussion in that talk page. In any case, the Music of Southeastern Europe article will need some work... I will have a stab at the lede sentence. --T*U (talk) 13:42, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Edin Balgarin - Since your response was directly to mine, I am fine with the way you worded the article (or as you now may know, with the way it stands since the tweak). I can't immediately detect the difference in the latest edit but it's not important. This article is where we need to have a consensus so we know how to fix the others. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 18:17, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
TU-nor - I don't even know if "Music of the Balkans" and "Music of Southeastern Europe" even warrant an article. It would be one thing if it were all the same or had similarity, but in reality it differs across regions and blends with its surroundings as part of the same cultural continuum. All that article is - is the outlining of an arbitrary territory (arbitrary with regards human activity) and an account of the musical activity within. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 18:17, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
The colour coding is obsolete. Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria are all members of NATO with the latter two having been so since 2004. Being former Communist countries does not warrant a separate colour from NATO members because there is a clear overlap. Keeping the map I doubt we can even change the wording to represent what each colour means in any apposite sense. --Edin Balgarin (talk) 13:43, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Absolutely agree that the Communist/NATO text was useless. It was introduced by an IP editor back in June. I have put back the text as it was before that change. Still needs discussion, though. There is hardly any possibility of finding sources that can support the distinction between "usually included" and "often included". --T*U (talk) 11:18, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
What I suggest is that we display a map of the Balkan territory, with modern country boundaries. But we should color Balkan VS non-Balkan territories instead of coloring the countries purely in terms of Cold War or political situations. The ideal could be to use 3 colors: territories of countries that lie within the Balkan boundaries, in color A. Territories of countries extending beyond Balkan boundaries in a fainter color B, and non-Balkan countries in color C. --👧🏻 SilentResident 👧🏻(talk ✉️ | contribs 📝) 12:13, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Additionally I suggest using the classification done by Misha Glenny in The Balkans, which itself was based on how the area was handled in both Western and Balkan national literatures. He divides "Balkanness" into three categories:
. Territories always considered Balkan -- Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia except for Vojvodina, Bosnia-Herz., Montenegro, and Albania.
. Usually considered Balkan but with some dissent (typically from the national literatures of the country itself): Croatia, Vojvodina, Northern Greece (he doesn't explicitly define this if I recall correctly-- but coloring Epirus-Makedonia-West Thrace-Acarnania-Thessaly seems sensible -- maybe not Corfu but I'd like to see a cite on Corfu, in the real world obviously Corfu due to its Venetian rather than Ottoman heritage is indeed considered "less Balkan" culturally than the rest of Greece), Romania and Turkey's European part.
. Not typically considered Balkan but may be included for historical, cultural or political connections: Slovenia, Hungary (widely considered Balkan before WWII apparently), Moldova, the rest of Greece, Anatolian Turkey, Cyprus.
FYI neither Hungary nor Croatia were ever considered Balkan by pre-WW1 cartographers, virtually every single contemporary map depicting the NW Balkans prior to WW1 ends with Bosnia and southern Serbia. English map | German map | French Map.CausticGimp (talk) 02:14, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
Before WWI the concept had not formed in its modern incarnation -- then it meant "European Turkey" (and "former European Turkey"). Since that time it got infused with various geographical, cultural and linguistic meanings. Of course we can resurrect maps from before 1900 that show "the Balkans" for their original meaning -- an individual mountain range in Bulgaria and nothing more. --Calthinus (talk) 16:14, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
All these things need to be expounded and better explained. The modern incarnation is essentially the old incarnation i.e. post-Ottoman Europe minus (sometimes) Greece + post-Habsburg Slovenia and Croatia after they merged into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.. Hungary was never seriously considered to my knowledge and was never listed on any map as a Balkan state. It would seem that it shouldn't be too difficult to construct a coherent gradient of "Balkanness" since the starting point is so clearly defined yet things still remain rather fuzzy and vague, rendering every classification questionable. First gotta establish the basics and then work from there. CausticGimp (talk) 20:41, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
Do you have a source defining which regions are part of the Balkans that could be used as an alternative to Glenny's The Balkans? Cuz that's just what I'm drawing from here. --Calthinus (talk) 18:06, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, the dearth of expounded sources is exactly the issue here, isn't it? Different sources will tell you different, often contradictory things without ever clearly quantifying why X is or isn't Balkan, the only reasonably ironclad sources we can rely on are a slew of contemporary maps that clearly establish the consensus on the canonical Balkans up until around 1918, which is where things start getting murky. Consider Greece, which was a member of the Balkan League, took part in both Balkan Wars and was listed as a Balkan state on all maps up until at least the end of WW2 yet is now frequently excluded from the region, one reason apparently being because it was conveniently considered Western Europe during the Cold War and thus became politically disassociated from the Balkans, which at that time were otherwise entirely within the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War ended nearly 30 years ago and Greece has since been reassigned to Southern Europe but it wasn't however "returned" back to the Balkans, at least in a geopolitical sense.
Now, I haven't yet read Glenny's book but you mention his lack of specificity when it comes to Greece and the issue of Corfu's Venetian heritage, namely the crucial roles of culture and obviously history as qualifying criteria. Since we have a clearly defined set of canonical (post-Ottoman) Balkan states we can easily establish the fundamental characteristics common to more-or-less all of them: a preponderance of Eastern Orthodoxy or Sunni Islam, traditional use of Cyrillic alphabet, Greco-Bzyantine architecture, aesthetics and iconography and obviously centuries of Ottoman occupation and administration. Thus, a good case can be made for Corfu not being traditionally Balkan or at least it being a lot less Balkan than the rest of Greece given that it wasn't under sustained Greco-Ottoman influence for centuries and was instead infused with Western/Southern European infrastructure, design and culture and the many fruits of the Renaissance for 400 years. But again, has any valid source ever actually properly articulated this?
And then there's Slovenia and Croatia (don't think we need to discuss Hungary anymore). Prior to 1918 neither of them even appear on any contemporary maps specifically depicting "the Balkans", when featured they're instead clearly depicted as part of the Central European Habsburg realm e.g. HRE/Austrian Empire/Austro-Hungary. It is only when they merge into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia with Bosnia, Montenegro and an enlarged Kingdom of Serbia in 1918 that cartographers start including them as part of the "Balkan lands", they're essentially re-branded overnight and are in reality "Balkan by association only" given their otherwise distinctly Western cultural and historical characteristics: predominantly Roman Catholic, Latin alphabet, Gothic/Baroque architecture, aesthetics and iconography, a shared experience of the Renaissance, (Counter)Reformation & Enlightenment and obviously centuries of German/Habsburg administration and influence.
This association of the two with the Balkans persists throughout both Yugoslavias (Kingdom & Socialist Republic) and as we know when the breakup begins in the early 1990's Slovenia escapes the conflict virtually unscathed while Croatia, due to is proximity to the rest of the country, gets bogged down in a bloody and protracted war for a good part of the 90's. This is where things start to get quirky: with its painless exit from Yugoslavia and its economy and infrastructure intact, Slovenia quickly begins to (re)integrate into Europe and in doing so seems to successfully discard the Balkan label and re-brand itself back to what it had originally been: a post-Habsburg Central European state. However, Croatia is not so fortunate: it must fight for survival and quickly becomes tagged as a part of what conventionally starts being called the "Wars in the Balkans" or "Balkan Wars", not an otherwise inaccurate moniker since the conflicts eventually come to involve Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo as well. This, coupled with Croatia's post-war political issues and economic struggle to rebuild seems to reinforce its existing association with the Balkans in the minds of many (although not all, the EU now places it in Central Europe) even though it clearly shares essentially the same religious + cultural heritage and historical narratives as ostensibly non-Balkan Slovenia and neighboring Central Europeans. Well, actually, this is more true of northern Croatia (more Germanic) than southern Croatia, which has more of an Italo-Venetian legacy and a distinctly Southern European, Mediterranean flavor.
Sorry for the essay, didn't mean to write so much, the point is that, again, there are a lot of differing/superficial assessments and there seems to be a persistent lack of clarification about what specifically constitutes "Balkanness" in the literature and wider media, at least when it comes to non-geographic criteria, and this makes any attempt at coherent classification rather frustrating.
Anyway, in service of the proposed gradient I would humbly suggest something like the following, pending further sources:
1. Balkan by purely geographic criteria: this would contain all the countries that are entirely or partially within Zeune's original delineation of the Balkan Peninsula - Slovenia <--> all of Greece. I know that technically Italy should be listed as well but with such a tiny amount of it involved I don't think skipping it would be unrepresentative.
2. Balkan by cultural & historical criteria: this would obviously contain the canonical post-Ottoman Balkan region for which there is no ambiguity regarding inclusion - Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Kosovo, FYROM, Montenegro, Romania minus Transylvania, Serbia minus Vojvodina, Greece minus Corfu
3. Balkan by association: this would contain the territories that politically merged with the Balkans at a later date and that otherwise have a cultural heritage and historical narratives more consistent with that of Southern or Central Europe - Slovenia, Croatia, Vojvodina, Transylvania, Corfu.
Now this clearly isn't perfect but I think it more neatly accounts for every Balkan iteration without creating too many contradictions with regards to cultural and historical considerations.
I think people are complicating too much unecessarily. Balkans are geographically everything South of Sava and Danube rivers. This means entire Bulgaria, Rep. of Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, all of European Turkey, then, large portions of Serbia and Croatia, all continental Greece, roughly half of Slovenia, and Dobruja portion of Romania. By association, the Nothern parts of Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, rest of Romania, and Greek islands. In the most extreme case, Moldova can be included (because of its historical connection to Romanian Moldova or Romania as a hole), Cyprus, rest of Turkey, and Hungary, because politically it had irredentist pretentions to some territories within what is considered Balkans. The last mention goes to the North-Eastern extreme of Italy, notably, Trieste and its surroundings, which geographically are South of Sava river and definitelly in the part forming the Balkan peninsula. FkpCascais (talk) 01:42, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
In practice this would mean something quite similar to CausticGimp proposal. My would go as this:
RED: All continent South of Sava and Danube rivers, from Trieste to Dobruja (both icluded) to Istambul and Peloponesus.
ORANGE: Parts of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Romania Nothers of Sava and Danube rivers, plus Greek islands.
YELLOW: Moldova, Cyprus, Asian side of Turkey, and Hungary.
I am thinking also about Italy and its historical possession of teritories within the Balkan peninsula. But that is too much I think. So forget Italy (except Triste part). FkpCascais (talk) 01:58, 7 August 2018 (UTC)i
Imo we should just pick a source and rely on it. We can't run around with our personal opinions here. I can sort of see how "Northern Croatia" is "more Germanic" but really this is just an opinion and not encyclopedic. The cultural boundaries in the Balkans have also not been static -- in 1300 Albania and Bosnia both mostly Catholic, and Albania was deeply integrated into the Western European political system, with a Western-style feudal political culture, and even with some rulers of French origins. Meanwhile at the height of the Ottoman Empire, Slavonia and Lika were 33% Muslim. Also CausticGimp, Glenny's stance on Corfu is actually clear -- he doesn't consider any "Greek islands" to be Balkan (but the Greek mainland, yes). --Calthinus (talk) 18:20, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
CausticGimp although the "cultural criteria" you set forth and the overall narrative is actually very well reasoned, let me point out how futile this is -- this logic taken to its natural conclusion would also conclude that regions of Northwestern Albania like Puka or Mirdita or Malesia are "non-Balkan" islands. Eastern Orthodoxy or Sunni Islam, nope there are large swathes of Albania that are 100% Catholic. traditional use of Cyrillic alphabet also never been used in mountainous parts of Northern Albania, Greco-Bzyantine architecture once again nope, centuries of Ottoman occupation and administration Mirdita was never actually administered by Ottomans (though they claimed to). So I guess Mirdita is also a Central European island, or maybe an "Italianate" island in the middle of the Balkans?--Calthinus (talk) 18:30, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
I dont understand why any of you is mixing politics and religion here? This is just geography. FkpCascais (talk) 19:27, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
If it was geography, we would talk about the Balkans where they actually are-- only Bulgaria.--Calthinus (talk) 19:53, 12 August 2018 (UTC)