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Is Turkey a Western Country ?

  • Date Submitted: 01/30/2011 12:42 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 37 
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Is Turkey a Western country ?

Selcuk Erez

Most Turks have little doubt that Turkey in a great variety of fields is at par with Western nations, but most Europeans would disagree.

How would one define Western standards ? In a period of ever-encompassing globalization, the Western standard can be thought to reflect achievement of an international scale in   a number of subjects such as the sports, industry, economy etc etc.

Turkey   claims to be among the world's leading producers of agricultural products; textiles, motor vehicles, ships and other transportation equipment; construction materials; consumer electronics and home appliances.   Yet, in the minds of the citizens of   European nations, Turkey lacks some   attributes, the presence of which would render it more Western than it is at present .

Actually, until the beginning of the 19 th century , in the West, Russia was similarly thought of as non-western country , a country with Asiatic attributes.     This interpretation started to change after the Napoleonic Wars, but Russia was only fully claimed to be one of the Western countries when she finally cultivated musicians, men and women of literature and artists of Western caliber.

The first quarter of the 19 th century is characterised by the emergence of a number of remarkable Russian artists.   The most interesting commonality among these artists was that their actual "day-time" professions were something other than the branch of art in which they eventually excelled : Borodin was a chemist, Cesar Cui, a military engineer and Mussorgsky was   a member of the Imperial Guard . Dostoevsky was a military engineer,Tolstoy had studied oriental languages and law, wheras Chekov was a physician.

This development was secondary to a wide spread and serious art education in the Imperial Russia: A great number of physicians should write plays so that one of them can prove to be a Chekhov . How many chemists should be interested in music so that one...


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