The development of the image 'Turk' in Italy through 'Della letteratura de Turchi' of Giambattista Dona

Soykut M.

JOURNAL OF MEDITERRANEAN STUDIES, vol.9, no.2, pp.175-203, 1999 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, Political Science Complete, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.175-203
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Islam represented for Italy and Europe a threat of military nature, as well as that of a cultural one in terms of representing the 'other' vis-a-vis Europe. Europe defined itself along the lines of Christendom, especially beginning with the conquest of Spain and Sicily by the Arabs in the eighth and ninth centuries. As a result of the rapid Ottoman conquests in Eastern Europe, from the midst of the fifteenth century onwards what came into European mind when thinking of Islam was the Ottoman Turks. While the image of Islam as ell as that of the 'Turk' served to define 'Europeanness' as opposed to the 'other', this image gradually started to change towards the end of the seventeenth century with the Ottoman decline.