One of the most central questions in European politics today is the complex relationship between Turkey and the European Union.
To better understand the controversies and ambiguities aroused by this issue it is necessary to go back in history. In 1529
and 1683, the conquering armies of the Ottoman Empire appeared at the gates of Vienna, threatening to overrun central Europe.
But in recent years Turkey, with its 70 million mostly Muslim inhabitants, has been seeking closer integration with Western
Europe, knocking at the door of Brussels. The ensuing debates on the possible Turkish membership of the European Union frequently
evoke attitudes seemingly conditioned by an historical memory of one form or another, often originating centuries ago. The
essays in this volume examine the assumptions, images and stereotypes developed about the 'Other' through the long historical
relationship, focusing especially on European images of 'the Turk'. They also explore the interaction of the two parties at
different times and in different geographical locations. Chronologically, they range from the origins of the 'East/West controversy'
in classical times, to the present question concerning the future relationship of Turkey and 'Europe'. This volume provides
a valuable source of knowledge for those interested in the persistence, as well as in the transformation, of basic notions
through history, and in seeking a deeper under standing of how present day attitudes and arguments are related to historical