The Arabs and Modern Turkey: A Century of Changing Perceptions
For centuries, the Arabs and Turks were subjects of the Ottoman Sultanate and were largely shaped by the dominant Ottoman culture and mode of religiosity. The founding of the Turkish Republic and several Arab starts during the 1920s created a new political map in the region and subsequently led to the involvement of a new Arab consciousness of the modern Turkey. This article explains the role played by four major factors in framing the Turkish image in Arab eyes: interpretations of the Ottoman past, legacy of the Kemalist era, conflicts and alliances of the Cold War period, and the recent rise to power of the Justice and Development Party. The article concludes by underlining the challenges that the Arabs and the Turks are now facing to enhance the relations between them as nations, not subjects of an empire.
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