Friendship among people or between nations? – The Case of Greeks and Turks
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Special opening lecture at the “5th Turkish-Greek Rheumatology Days” meeting, Cornelia Diamond Resort, Antalya, 14 October 2011.

 

 

Friendship among people or between nations? –

The Case of Greeks and Turks

 

(By H. Millas)

 

 

I feel honoured that I am invited to speak at this meeting about Greeks and Turks. I have spent a large part of my life opposing the agents as well as the understanding that caused the enmity, the hostility, even the hate between the two nations; and now I appreciate this invitation as a reward. I thank you very much for asking me to join you.

 

I have always been against the ideology and the practices that spoil and worsen the interethnic cooperation and coexistence. I have always been for peaceful Greek-Turkish relations. Almost all of my studies and writings were dedicated to this end. But I think I have never written in favour of “Greek Turkish friendship”. Tonight I would like to share with you my views with respect to this “negligence” of mine, which may sound as a paradox to some: I am against enmity between the nations, but on the other hand I am not in favour of “friendship between nations”. 

 

Let me start with a personal experience of my youth. I was brought up in Istanbul as a member of the Greek minority. I had many friends of various ethnic groups: Armenians, Jews, Greeks and naturally many Turks. These friends were all equal to me, irrespective of their religious, language or ethnic affinity. With those who are still alive we are still close friends.

 

When I was about fifteen, I started having disputes with my father about “Turks”. My father was a Greek patriot. He was proud of being a Greek and he believed that Turks were the enemies who had harmed the Greeks. He used to say that he simply did not like Turks. On my part, I would argue, that he contradicted himself, because he liked all his Turkish friends and neighbours. He was especially very friendly with my Turkish class mates and friends. As far as I can remember, he perceived Turkish people around him (in his immediate surroundings) as exceptional cases. But he never changed his opinion and his feelings with respect to Turks in general up to the end of his life.

 

For many decades I thought that my father was psychologically unbalanced and obsessed with the Turks. Much later, after my father had passed away and I started studying Greek-Turkish relations and nationalism, I realized that my father was quite normal: he thought like a typical nationalist. I found this out as I studied Turkish and Greek literature in order to see how each side perceives and presents the “other”. 

 

This, in fact, was the subject of my PhD degree. Among other findings, one was exceptionally illuminating; it helped me understand the paradoxical behaviour of my father and a very important aspect of nationalism, too. The “other”, specifically Greeks and Turks, were presented as enemies in the novels, but as friends in the memoirs of the “other” side, respectively. What is it that makes people perceive and present the “other” side in this contradictory way?

 

 

 Fiction versus Memoirs

 

Three well known Turkish writers Ömer Seyfettin (1884-1920), Halide Edip Adıvar (1882-1964) and Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu (1889-1974) wrote both fiction (novels and short stories) and memoirs. All three presented the following phenomenon: In their fiction almost all Greek characters were negative personalities, i.e., expansionists, cruel, dishonest, cowards, sadists, corrupt, etc. Greek women were mostly prostitutes. But in their memoirs, whenever they presented the Greeks that they had actually met in their lives, then Greeks were almost all positive personalities, i.e. honest, pleasant, helpful, etc.

 

 Ömer Seyfettin, an army officer, produced his short stories during the most turbulent period of the Ottoman Empire. In these stories Greeks are presented basically as enemies of Turks: they hate Turks, they want to expand their land over Ottoman lands, and they commit atrocities in order to accomplish that. Greeks exploit Turks by establishing disreputable businesses (gambling or whore houses). The women are either prostitutes or house maids who act in an extremely "morally lax" manner. There are twelve incidents where the Greeks (who are not personally named or described but only mentioned in general as Greeks) behave in a negative way.

 

 Ö. Seyfettin also wrote some memoirs during the time he was in Greek custody as a prisoner of war. The surprising finding here is that, even under these extreme circumstances, almost all the Greeks whom he presents are character­ized as gentle, kind and amiable. He praises the way the Greeks treated him and expresses his sympathy even "for the chief of the hospital, who, poor man, had a son in the army". Of course, this son at that time was fight­ing against the Turks![1]

 

Halide Edip Adıvar is an authoress who took part in the liber­ation war against the Greeks. She had an intimate relationship with Mustafa Kemal. She was a member of the parliament during the years 1950-1954 and published twenty one novels, two volumes of short stories, a play and two volumes of memoirs, originally written in English and published in England. In her novels the picture of the neighbouring nation is negative in general: Beyoğlu (“Pera” in Greek), a vicinity in Istanbul mostly inhabited by Greeks and Christians, is portrayed as a degener­ate place; the Greeks are ruthless during the war and they enjoy killing children and raping women; Greek women are almost without exception either prostitutes or house maids who act like prostitutes. Nevertheless, the reader is presented with a surprise as he/she reads her memoirs where Greeks appear to be completely different: they are gentle, kind, humble, amiable.

 

For example, in her memoirs Helena is the old Greek teacher who taught her to love life when she was about ten and gave her courage when the authoress had lost her mother; in her memoirs she writes that she had never forgotten and could never forget Helena. In her novels, on the other hand, one meets eight Greek women who are called "Helena" (Eleni), and they are all either prosti­tutes or simple maids. One of them, according to the writer's description, is even "disgusting, because she has hairs on her chin". Again in her memoirs we meet an old Greek doctor who helped the authoress when she was in Egypt with her two children having to face all alone a very diffi­cult situation; and an old Greek lady, the only person who bade her farewell when she left Turkey to go in exile.[2] We also read that a Greek translator from Anatolia fought on the side of the Turks.[3] None of these positively portrayed Greeks appear in her novels or in her short stories.

 

Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu does not present a different case.  He, too, participated in the liberation war against the Greeks, he worked together with H. Edip in investigating the damage done by the Greeks during the occupation of West Anatolia, he was close to Mustafa Kemal, a member of the parliament and a diplomat. He pub­lished nine novels, two volumes with short stories, one play, and five volumes of memoirs.

 

The Greek women we meet in his novels and short stories are usually prostitutes (six out of nine); and two excite sexually some Turkish men.[4] The Greek neighbourhoods are almost always connected with sexual adventures. The men have a larger variety of occupations: some run ill-famed bars, others have grocery stores etc. However, they are almost invariably depicted as negative personalities.

 

The following derogatory adjectives, nouns, verbs and actions are related to Greeks and appear in his texts of fiction: dirty, disgusting, bloodthirsty, contemptuous, pedant, violent, savage, spoiled, enemy, shameless, ungrateful, cunning, barbarous, appalling, "gavur" (infidel), scoundrel, pitiless, degener­ate, thief, rapist, ex-servants of ours, ex-slaves of ours, atrocities, treason, tor­ture, killing, massacre, microbe, murder, beast, loot, beating, stealing, sab­otage, hate, base ambitions, cadaver, strangler, killing by bayonet, killing by stoning, cutting off breasts, nailing up by breasts, spitting in the face of Turks, setting fire to villages, and many other highly insulting expressions for which it is difficult to find the corresponding words in translation.

 

Yet, the picture of Greeks is different in his memoirs. There, we find the respectable Greek doctor of Yakup Kadri's father and some of his nice Greek friends (diplomats). These "positive" characters are few, but there is not a single Greek in these memoirs who can be classified as a negative character.

 

I have composed a table out of these findings. The table includes the three above mentioned authors and all their positive and negative references to Greeks, as they appear in fiction (novels and short stories), and separately the references appearing in memoirs. The limited number of neutral references is not shown in this table.

 

 

 


 

 

Novels & Short Stories

 

 

Persons

Incidents

 

 Women

Men

 

Pos.

Neg.

Pos.

Neg.

Pos.

Neg.

Ömer Seyfettin

Halide Edip Adıvar

Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu

0

0

0

9

  18

9

0

1

2

 7

 8

   18

 0

 0

 0

 12

 46

 47

SUM

0

36

3

33

0

105

 

 

 

Memoirs

 

Ömer Seyfettin

Halide Edip Adıvar

Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu

0

2

1

0

0

0

3

8

3

0

3

0

4

    17

0

3

8

     30

SUM

3

0

    14

3

    21

41

 

                                                        

Abstract (imagined) versus concrete “other”

 

Looking at the general results presented in numbers, we may conclude the following:

 

1. In the texts of fiction there are 36 negative women characters and not a single positive one. In contrast there is not a single negative one in memoirs where we find three positive women characters.

2. The ratio of positive to negative for men characters is 3/33 (more than 90 % "bad" Greeks) in fiction and 14/3 (more than 80 % "good" Greeks) in memoirs.

3. The incidents (or characterizations) which are not directly connected to per­sons but are more general, show the same tendency but not the same extreme contrast. There are no positive actions in fiction, but more than one hundred negative characte­rizations; whereas the ratio for memoirs is 21/41. This ratio is, of course, determined by the heavily influential 0/30 ratio of Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu. The other two writers have an average ratio of 21/11, i.e. 64% "good" actions by Greeks in the memoirs.

 

All three writers show a similarity in portraying negative or "bad" Greeks in their novels and short stories and positive or "good" Greeks in their memoirs. One may imagine that fiction is the product of war periods and the memoirs of peace periods. This is not the case. Halide Edip wrote her memoirs right after the war and most of her novels much later. Yakup Kadri wrote his novels much after the war, whereas the "good Greeks" of Ömer Seyfettin appear in his memoirs written when he was a prisoner of war, under Greek custody.

 

One may try to explain the phenomenon of these obvious contradictions in various ways:

 

1- In one of her novels where she describes two Greek women (prostitutes), Halide Edip wrote this revealing sentence: "These women were realistically representing the local prostitution as if they had just come out of the novels of Hüseyin Rahmi".[5] H. Rahmi (1864-1944) is a novelist. The authoress, naturally, did not have first hand information about local prostitution. She had to rely on preceding novels; and literature for her was a source of "reality", picturing the real world.  Stereotyping in literature may be the reproduction of socially existing images; the result of what we learn in our society. Whereas memoirs, on the other hand, are written based on personal experience.  One does not feel the need to refer to general predetermined "truths” and “realities” when personal experiences are being narrated. Memoirs are about “really real” persons. Consequently, novels express what we learn in our community about the “other” whereas memoirs are based on our personal experiences. In the first case the “other” is imagined/abstract and in the second is concrete/real.

 

2- The writers are conscious of their readers. We may suspect that writers write what they are expected (by their readers) to write. For example, the fictitious texts of Halide Edip were written for the Turkish public, whereas her memoirs were originally written for English speak­ing readers. Furthermore, the memoirs of Ömer Seyfettin were not originally written for publi­cation; they were published for the first time forty seven years after his death. So, the “other” is presented according to the expectations of the readers; and the expectations of the readers (where one should include state authorities) are politically and ideologically influenced as well. 

 

3- A third, and in my opinion the most important factor, which includes indirectly the two reasons mentioned above and which gives birth to national stereotypes, is the nationalistic ideology and its premise:  nations are “homogeneous” groups. The three writers that are known in Turkey as advocates of "national lit­erature" are also famous for trying in practice to strengthen Turkish lan­guage, the Turkish state and Turkish national consciousness. Nationalists do not seem to be interested in “details” and “exceptions” that injure their basic premise. Their “reality” covers all of “us” (as positive), as well as all “others” (as negative).  As nationalist writers create - on paper - their ethnocentric world, they present "reality" according to the ideological stereotypes and not in accordance to the "few" inci­dents in life which may contradict their worldviews.  So even though they may have met only "good" Greeks in their life times, their ideology (or their "education" in general) dictates that they should portray only negative personal­ities; not as they may appear and present themselves in practice but as they "really" are.

 

Memoirs profess an altogether different world. They do not rep­resent, according to the understanding of these writers, the ultimate, the general, the basic "truth" but only some particular or coincidental incidents. In philosophical terms, one may recall the controversy of nominalism: particular occurrences cannot constitute a universal reality. A nationalist author feels comfortable when s/he writes about "nice" neighbours since we all know these do exist. However, in a text of fiction we do not record (nom­inalist) particulars but basically the "ultimate reality", the symbolic expression of what really exists beyond appearances. Nationalist writers therefore reproduce predetermined nationalistic stereotypes, as these have been built up in a nationalistic discourse.

 

The belief that literary texts present the ‘essence’ (the universals) beyond the ‘facts’ (the singulars) is at least as old as Aristotle. In his Poetics Aristotle wrote that (read fiction for “poet” and memoirs for “historian”): “it will be seen that the poet’s function is to describe, not the things that happened, but a kind of thing that might happen, i.e., what is possible as being probable or necessary. The distinction between historian and poet is not in the one writing prose and the other verse . . . it consists really in this, that the one describes the thing that has been, and the other a kind of thing that might be. Hence poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are of the nature rather of universals, whereas those of history are singulars.”[6] Hence, authors of novels in their depiction of the Other (σε όλο το προηγούμενο κείμενο το “other seem to voice the “universals”, as these are conceived by them, irrespective of ‘singulars’.

 

 

National Stereotypes

 

Please do not forget what our initial object was. I was trying to explain:

a) Why my father had contradictory opinions about the Turks,

b) Why I am not enthusiastic about “friendship between nations”.

 

With these targets in mind I would like to add that the phenomenon of contradictory opinions about the “other” - when he/she appears as abstract or concrete – is not special to Turks and Greeks but it is a universal phenomenon. A very important study on Nazi officers who exterminated the Jews showed that these Nazis had Jew friends whom they liked and appreciated; but for these Nazis their Jew friends did not represent the bad guys, the “Jews”![7]  The abstract bad Jews and the good concrete Jews existed in two different compartments in the minds of the nationalist Germans. The existence of good friends did not change their conviction that the “other” is bad.

     

We find the same case with the Greek writers, too. Two studies on Greek novels with respect to the image of the “Turk” reveal that Greek writers who actually met and lived with the Turks, portray a much more realistic picture of the “other” in contrast to the authors who sketch an imaginary “other”. Some Greek writers who lived in Asia Minor within Ottoman lands are I. Venezis, Str. Mirivilis, N. Politis, M. Iordanidou. These authors wrote about more recent, real and experienced times (1890-1950). Writers who lived only on Greek territory, such as M. Karagatsis, Th. Kastanakis, P. Prevelakis, distanced themselves from the Turks and wrote about imagined Turks and ‘old times’ (16th to early 19th century). The literary characters drawn from ‘life’ and heroes inspired by concrete personalities are much more balanced and portray complex realistic characters.[8]

 

The fact that the citizens of Greece and Turkey have some stereotypical images of the “other” became manifest to me repeatedly in all my life when I introduced a Turk to a Greek or visa versa. A reaction that I often encountered was “What a nice person, he does not look like a Turk (or a Greek)!” In fact the concrete “other” is always better than the abstract one.

 

At this point we may try to arrive at a set of conclusions. 

1- In modern nation-states the citizens have two different perceptions of the “other”: When in direct contact with the “other”, he/she is seen in a balanced way and the opinions about him/her are normal: good or bad, as it is the case in all human relations. 

2- Friendship among people that meet and develop a communication is also a very common phenomenon. The principles that govern this friendship are universal: some people do develop amicable relations with individuals with whom they socialize. 

3- What is more intricate and difficult to understand is the “abstract” image of the “other”. This image or stereotypy or prejudice (or whatever other name we choose to name this phenomenon) is not only strange, because it involves ill feelings for individuals that one never met, but also very harmful. Enmity among nations is mostly due to these negative feelings for the “abstract other”.

 

In the rest of my presentation I will try to discuss this phenomenon. 

 

 

Nationalism and the Negative “Other”

 

National identities and nation-states appeared worldwide in recent times, only in the last two or three centuries. However, it was popularized as an ideology that propagated the belief that nations were “very old”. This process of “make-believe” is called “ethnogenesis” or “nation-building”. Irrespective of the different ways nation-building is exercised, national identity is associated with national myths about “us” as well as about the “other”. Not only “us” but also the “other” is seen and is shown as very old. For example, we hear so often – this is especially expressed by nationalists - that Greek-Turkish relations started in the 11th century. Whereas at that time, even though there were Greek speaking and Turkish speaking people, groups that called themselves Greeks or Turks did not exist; they did not have a national identity.[9]

 

Centrally controlled general education is the most important innovation of nation-states. Together with a series of related educational activities – museums, history writing, patriotic art and literature , etc.  – the citizens of each nation-state acquire a common national belief. In the case of Greeks and Turks, it is interesting but also sad to see that before nationalism had been spread among the Greek and Turkish speaking populations, the image of the “other” was not negative. Actually there was not even an “abstract other”. Various studies demonstrated that the Greeks before 1821 and the Turks before 1890 did not think and speak about negative Turks and Greeks respectively.[10]

 

The harm of the nation-states and nationalism is not that they only build an image of a negative “other”, there is even something worse. With nationalism a new world-view (some prefer to call it a new national “paradigm”) started where the basic unit is the “nation”. One cannot think of individuals without associating them to a nation. Human beings and individuals lost importance and an abstract category, the nation became supreme. It is obvious that human beings do not have a national identity only; they have many identities. Someone may belong to a group defined by sex, age group, religion, language, profession, geographical area, family position, status, sports club, ideology, hobby, etc. With nationalism all other characteristics of a human being are considered secondary and priority is given to “national identity”. What do we normally mean when we ask: “What are you?” How do we answer this question?  The citizens of modern-nation states normally answer by stating their ethnicity. “I am Greek / Turk.” This is a new phenomenon in human history.

 

According to this world-view human beings are grouped into nations. It becomes difficult in our days to imagine an individual without attributing to him/her a nationality and some supposedly related characteristics (unless we know him/her personally – and in that case we have a “concrete” person. We judge what he does (and especially what he will do) according to his nationality. All human beings are perceived as members of a nation. In our days even an athlete cannot participate in a sport competition if he is not representing a national flag. The unity of all humans is called “United Nations”. We cannot think of unity differently. The humanist, internationalist and ecumenical beliefs are now replaced by nationalist ideology. 

 

But what is a nation? Or to ask a less theoretical and more practical question: How do normally the citizens of our world perceive the nations? This is a very crucial question and the answer sheds light to the questions posed at the beginning: Why do we produce the “negative abstract other”?  By a “nation” people normally understand a group of people which have some characteristics that make that group different from the other nations. According to this understanding the members of one nation are different from the members of any other group or nation. This is the first step which automatically leads to the stereotypes. If we indentify ourselves as, say, nation “A”, at the same time we believe we have some characteristics that distinguish us from the members of nations “B, C and D”; we then attribute some distinctiveness to “us” and to the other nations as well.[11] 

 

Once one starts thinking in these terms, e.i., having a perspective of nations, one’s evaluations and judgments are unavoidably generalizations. Let’s think of my father and the three Turkish authors I mentioned above. Very simply they identified themselves with a nation.

 

They believed that “their side” was right and the “other side”, the other nation, was wrong. In such a conjuncture what are their options when they are asked to express their opinion about “us” and the “other”? If they want to express, the “essence” (not the “exceptions”) they would write like the authors mentioned previously and speak the way my father did.[12]

 

Of course the problem is not that the “other” is presented as negative. The real problem is that the “other” is seen being composed of one kind of people. Few years ago the late Archbishop of Greece said in public that “The Turks are barbarians”. At the time I happened to teach at the University of Athens. The next day I lectured in class on this utterance saying that the problem with this sentence was in the first part: “The Turks are…” Whatever words followed the sentence was a nationalist sentence and was wrong. All the Turks have no common characteristics. There are all kinds of Turks. To think that “the Turks are X” is a nationalistic approach. Actually it escaped our attention that blaming the “other” and praising “our side” is an action of the same order: a generalization (prejudice, stereotype) that is the result of nationalist thinking. In this respect, praising our nation is an ideological choice equal to blaming the “other”. 

 

 

The Problem with the Abstract Negative Other

 

The images of the nations are important. We should not rush to conclude that negative images and national prejudices are of a limited importance since when people meet the actual “concrete other” reality and common sense prevail. Images (perceptions, stereotypes, prejudices, convictions, beliefs, abstract other, etc.) are of great importance for various reasons.

 

a) People in most of the cases think and take decisions in matters that are associated with the “other” in the absence of the “other”. For example a war against an enemy may be decided by leaders or people who may have never met a representative from the other side.  The cases where we deal directly and face to face with the “other” may be very limited; the images may lead us to such decisions.

b) In general human beings do not operate based on facts and on a reality, but according to what they perceive as facts and reality; in other words according to the images they have.

c) The images and our convictions do not allow us to accept facts and reality. We interpret the available evidence as “true” or as “exception” according to our images. Our “reality” will be effected and change to the extent our images are effected and change.     

 

Images, prejudices, perceptions etc., are not a few secondary shortcomings of ours that can be overcome by goodwill, a little of attention, some reminding and/or a couple of lectures. It is the core of our ideological armory from where our basic beliefs originate; it is the expression of our national identity and the beliefs with which nations legitimize state and personal discourses. 

 

 

An Assessment: What to do?

 

If the analysis above makes sense, what does “to be friends with Greeks or Turks” may mean? How can Turks be friends with Greeks when all Greeks and all Turks are not friend among themselves? Since there are all kinds of people in every nation what are we going to do with every indecent, offensive, rude “other”? Are we going to be friends with the “other” even if he/she hates us? It is understood that the discourse of being friends with a nation, may have a meaning only within the nationalistic paradigm. Actually this utterance normally means being “allies”, “on the same block” with the “other”. Of course this is a partnership, collaboration, coalition, an alliance – definitely a positive act of nation-states but it has nothing to do with friendship.

 

We saw above that to have personal friends from the “other” side did not save my father and the three authors in having negative images about the “other”. Friends and stereotypes can coexist. On the other hand, people who know how stereotypes and nationalism operate can overcome negative images and prejudices. The important step is not to think of nations as being composed of uniform and homogeneous individuals. The discourse of “being friends with a nation” actually reinforces this nationalist understanding. Every act that supports and recreates this paradigm is harmful: it strengthens nationalism.

 

The thing to do is to decipher, decode, deconstruct the nationalist discourse.  Adorno’s   study mentioned previously concludes by stating that opinions (the prejudices) do not change by showing more and more “exceptions”. What is needed is to show to the bearers of stereotypes the mechanism that forms the prejudices and how they came to think the way they think. In his own words: “There is no simple gap between experience and stereotypy. Stereotypy is a device for looking at things comfortably; since, however, it feeds on deep-lying unconscious sources, the distortions which occur are not to be corrected merely by taking a real look. Rather, experience itself is predetermined by stereotypy.” (Adorno 1982, p. 309) In other words, people see what they have in their minds, as it happens in the case of Rorschach test.

 

It is mistaken to think that we have only a wrong idea about the “other”; what actually happens is that we follow a special (nationalist) ideology which creates the generalized negative image of the “other” and the positive image of “ourselves”; and what is needed is to change our perception of our outer world, our ideology. The image of the “other” does not change only on advice or by good will or by obtaining some friends. It is quite probable to have many friends from the “other” side and still follow a nationalist ideology and have prejudices, the way the authors above did. The opposite is also possible: One may have a normal/balanced/objective/unbiased opinion about the “other” without having friends of the “other”, provided one is conscious of the role of nationalist ideology.   

 

In short, friendship of nations actually means being allies or composing common fronts and usually against some “other”. Friendships help individual relations but do not help overcome national stereotypes, prejudices and negative images about the “other” nation. The belief that nations cannot be friends and/or that they can be friends is of the same order: both recreate the nationalist paradigm by bringing to the fore the nations. Sometimes the belief that “the nations are friends” may produce the pseudo-conviction that an important step has been taken in overcoming prejudices. In this case the parties relax contented. Whereas what is needed to accomplish is to understand the mechanisms that created the nationalist feelings and stereotypes. Understanding this is the same as understanding ourselves. Then peace and harmony  can be accomplished among people, Greeks and Turks included. When the nationalist paradigm is transcended one is not in the need to have personal friends in order to be in peace with the nationals of our world.

 

*

 



[1] "Balkan Savaşı Günlüğü", Bütün Eserleri, Ruzname, Bilgi Yayınevi, volume 8, 1989, p. 91-92.

[2] "Mor Salkımlı Ev" Atlas, 7. addition, p. 131  and "Yolculuk Notları/Dağa Çıkan Kurt", Remzi Publishing House, 7. edition, 1989, p. 184.  The second text is composed of notes from a journey.

[3] "Türkün Ateşle imtihanı", ibid., p. 191.

[4] For details and references see (1) my monograph on Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu and the image of Greeks published in Turkish "Türk Edebiyatında Yunan Imaji", Toplum Ve Bilim, Istanbul, Winter 1991; (2) H. Millas. Türk ve Yunan Romanlarında Öteki ve Kimlik, İstanbul: İletişim, 2005.

 

 

[5] My translation. [Bu kadınlar] "Hüseyin Rahmi'nin romanlarından kesilmiş iki sayfa kadar gerçekçi bir biçimde yerli fuhuş alemini canlandırıyorlardı" (Yolpalas Cinayeti, Atlas, 1988, p. 194).

[6] Aristotle.  Rhetoric and Poetics, Modern Library, New York, 1954, p. 34/1451.

[7] Adorno, T.W & others, The Authoritarian Personality, Norton & Company, New York – London, 1982 (1950).

[8] See: Demirözü, Damla. ‘Η Εικόνα του Τούρκου στην Γενιά του ’30’, Diss. University of Athens, 1999 (in Greek). Millas, H. A) Εικόνες Ελλήνων και Τούρκων - σχολικά βιβλία, ιστοριογραφία, λογοτεχνία και εθνικά στερεότυπα, (Images of Greeks and Turks - Textbooks, historiography, literature and national stereotypes), Athens: Alexandria, 2001 (+2002). B) Türk ve Yunan Romanlarında Öteki ve Kimlik [The “other” in Turkish and Greek novels and Identity], İstanbul: İletişim, 2005.

 

 

[9] Contemporary Greek and Turkish historiography call “Greek” and “Turk” people who clearly have declared that “they were NOT Greek and Turk”; these people did not identify themselves with an ethnicity. I remind two cases: the Patriarch Genadios in the 16th and Namık Kemal in the 19th century.   

[10] See: Spfini, Alexandra. Langue et Mentalitées au Phanar (XVIIe - XVIIe Siècles), Unpublished Dissertation, Sorbonne, 1991. 2) Vassiliki, F. Lykoura. La Representation de L’ <Autre> au Cours de la Lutte Pour L’ Independance a travers les Memoires des Combattants 1821-1823, Unpublished dissertation, Sorbonne, 1994. 3) Ottomanist authors, all three above in H. Millas. Εικόνες Ελλήνων - Τούρκων, Σχολικά Βιβλία, Ιστοριογραφία, Λογοτεχνία και Εθνικά Στερεότυπα, Athens: Αλεξάνδρεια, 2001 (in Greek). 4) H. Millas. Yunan Ulusunun Doğuşu, Istanbul: İletişim, 1994 (in Turkish).

 

[11] To follow a different thinking is to put in danger the nationalist paradigm. Try to think of a nationalist Greek who imagines that there is a Turk who thinks and feels exactly like him! This is impossible! If both are the same shouldn’t they belong to the same nation? He may think of his mirror image on the other side but not his duplicate. The opposite applies when this Greek thinks of the other Greeks. With the other Greeks he imagines that they all together compose a natural and harmonious unity. Posing the problematic in another way imagine, say a nationalist Turk, who thinks of the “Greeks”.  He has to reach to a conclusion/decision/opinion about the “other”. He has to decide if the “other” is, say, a friend or  an enemy. National thinking is not characterized by a way of thinking where, say, the Turks are 10% friends, 34% a little friendly, 41% indifferent, 11% enemies. Or think of the Cyprus issue and a nationalist Turk judging Turkey’s role. He cannot say between “1950-1960 Turkey was 15% right 22% wrong, between 1960-1974  X% right Y% wrong”. Instead he will say that all the time they were almost completely right. Exactly like his Greek counterpart. Nationalism is a holistic ideology

[12] I should remind that, naturally, there are other Turkish and Greek who do not follow national understanding and they have expressed themselves completely differently from the above writers. I mention two among many: Sait Faik and Ilias Venezis. I remind also how different I have happened to be from my father.