The time between the French revolution and the end of the First World War covers the last 150 years of the Ottoman Empire and marks a period of increased political and cultural exchange between the Empire and the European Powers. The constant efforts of the Ottoman bureaucrats to modernise the legal system, administration and society led to processes of Europeanisation which coined images of Europe in conflicting ways: A strong desire to become part of the European order or “civilisation” existed alongside negative reactions against over-Westernisation which articulated a criticism of Western-oriented consumption and cultural values. For example, the image of the züppe, an overly Westernised snob or dandy has become an important trope in Ottoman literature. At the same time, European perspectives often evolved around two main issues: Whereas Orientalist images of the East were predominant in the eighteenth century, representations of the Ottoman Empire were increasingly linked to the Eastern Question in the nineteenth century. The latter indicates the ambition of the European rulers to create a balance of power together with the Ottoman Empire against the background of a Russian threat on the continent. This paper demonstrates how representations of the other and the self were often linked to political events as well as interests and were reflected upon in newspapers and the cultural sphere.