chapter  3
21 Pages

Greek–Turkish differences and similarities

National stereotypes and their implications
WithHercules (Iraklis) Millas

This chapter shows how the real or the imagined similarities and/or differences between nations are perceived by the members of the two nations-states and what the implications of the related discourses are. The case of the Greeks and the Turks shows that the related constructed myths serve various purposes and also influence their bilateral relations. Sometimes it is inferred that similarities should be highlighted to encourage rapprochement, and sometimes the claim of similarities may signal a search for identity. The whole endeavour is built on the argument that similarities/differences recreate the premises of nationalism which are based on notions such as 'national character' or the ‘unchanged essence of the nation’. The comparative approach renders noticeable some of the actual characteristics of the people of Greece and Turkey. In Turkey, the popular civil loyalty is towards the state; in Greece, to political parties. Laws are respected in Turkey more so than in Greece.