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Tag: identity

Bulgaria’s denial of its Ottoman past and Turkish identity

Despite more than five hundred years of Turkish rule, the majority of present-day Bulgarians demonise and reject “non-Bulgarian” – that is, Turkish, Muslim, or Roma – influences in their history and culture. While the Bulgarian government’s harshest policies of ethnic cleansing concluded with the fall of communism, this exclusivist narrative of Bulgarian national history nevertheless continues to discriminate against such communities.

March 24, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

The Odesan myth and the Ukrainian façade

An interview with Professor Borys Khersonskyy, a Ukrainian poet, translator, clinical psychologist and Odesa’s leading intellectual. Interviewers: Tomasz Lachowski and Vitalii Mazurenko

TOMASZ LACHOWSKI AND VITALII MAZURENKO: Every now and then, the world reminds itself of the Donbas conflict, following the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and the separatists or Kyiv’s efforts to reintegrate the region. The war thus continues. The question is: Is separatism still a real threat to Ukraine? Or, perhaps, it ended with the rebellion in Donetsk and Luhansk? You live in the Odesa region, which is ethnically diverse and borders the unrecognised Transnistria, where this question seems to be more pertinent.

BORYS KHERSONSKYY: First of all, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, independent Ukraine formed on the basis of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which began to sovereignly govern over its territory. This place has been very diverse when it comes to historical and economic development as well as cultural and national identity. On the one hand, some of the regions in the eastern part of the country immediately fell under the influence of our northern neighbour, the Russian Federation.

April 26, 2018 - Tomasz Lachowski and Vitalii Mazurenko

The identity of Turkish youth

Like their peers in other states, Turkish youth are said to face many challenges while trying to define themselves. Many members of the younger generation still think that one’s character is defined by two elements: nationality and religion. Thus, those who hold such a belief tend to say that a sense of nationality is an inherent characteristic of the Turkish society. This conviction, however, does not imply racism. It rather assumes that Turkish identity has been shaped by historical experiences and cultural nationalism. The Turkish attitude towards religion is also rather unique, especially when compared to others in the Muslim world, which confirms the thesis that despite being a Muslim society by a great majority, Turks are proud of being tolerant towards other beliefs and religions. They remember that two centuries ago Sultan II Mahmut said “I want to see my Muslim citizens in mosques, my Christian citizens in churches and my Jewish citizens in synagogues”, and follow the Prophet Muhammad’s words that neither Persians nor Arabs are superior.

September 13, 2016 - Kinga Gajda

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