Nations and Identities : The Case of Greeks and Turks
Ten essays define and explain how nationalism, identities and ethnic conflicts Hercules Millas are created and function. The Greeks, the Turks and their historiographies, textbooks and literary texts are studied as a case to show how ethnic images, perceptions and prejudices of the Other are formed and operate. Based on his personal interethnic lifelong experience, the author proposes a way to approach these issues in education, too. All the essays in this study make use of the comparative approach to demonstrate how national identities are associated with an imagined Other. The identity of the Self –and national identity– as well as the related discourse can become meaningful and easy to understand when judged as counteractions of the involved groups. The whole endeavor is an effort to approach nationalism as a manifestation that needs to be examined with a variety of academic disciplines.
Imagologists are used to dealing with the distinction between auto-image and hetero-image. What Millas’s research has highlighted is something which, to my knowledge, has not yet been thematized in image studies, but which is of great importance: the collapse between auto-image and hetero-image, our image of the other’s image. I think something as important as this “image of an image” deserves its own name, so that it can be thematized without circumlocutions. The term “meta-image” seems to present itself. Prof. Dr. J. Th. Leerssen, University of Amsterdam
YAZAR HAKKINDA: HERCULES MILLAS: Hercules (Iraklis) Millas was brought up in Turkey and presently lives in Greece. He has a Ph.D. degree in political science (1998) and a B.Sc. in civil engineering (1965). He worked as a civil engineer in Turkey, Greece, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia (1968-1985) and since 1985 he has focused on cultural activities. He published various books and articles, mostly on interethnic perceptions. He established the Greek literature department at Ankara University (1990-1995), he taught Turkish language and literature at various universities in Greece (1999-2008) and Greek-Turkish relations with respect to literary criticism and conflict resolution at Işık and Bilgi universities of Istanbul (2009-2010).
He participated in a project to assist minority youth in matters of education in Western Thrace, Greece (2005-2013). Together with N. Dinç he prepared a documentary, The Other Town, on how Greeks and Turks perceive each other. He participated in various conferences related to the above topics in more than fifteen countries. He has been a columnist in the Zaman (Istanbul) for the last twelve years. He received the ‘Abdi Ipekçi Peace Award’ in 1992, the ‘Dido Sotiriou’ award of the Hellenic Authors’ Society in 2004 and the award of Free Thinking and Expression of Publishers’ Association of Turkey in 2005.
Radikal Kitap, Toplumsal Tarih, Agos