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The Turkish Conundrum

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Roger Crowley finds that modern European concerns about Turkey are anticipated in an article by Bernard Lewis, first published in 1953.

In October 1953 the historian Bernard Lewis wrote an article for History Today about the Ottoman Empire and its relations with Europe. The occasion was the 500th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople; his purpose was to plead for a more balanced assessment of the empire and to accord it an honourable place in world history, to see the fall of Constantinople not as a ‘victory of barbarism, but rather of another and not undistinguished civilization’.


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