Assoc. Prof. Murat ÇEMREK
One of the very first things I have learned after starting the school was “Turkey is a bridge between Europe and Asia.” This metaphor of “bridge” has been one of the basic official mottos of the Turkish Republic to help its citizens feel closer or even part Europe -so the Western world. This motto did not also led them sacrifice their Asiatic roots in tandem with the official history of designating their ancestors to have left the Central Asian steppes due to drought but transferring civilization to the frontiers of Asia called Anatolia. Of course, I had also learnt that Turkey, even before the establishment of the Republic, was trying to be a part of Europe and the West much or less in its path toward modernization, or read it as Europeanization/Westernization. However following the Republic, Turkey has tried its best to alienate itself from the East, so the Iron Curtain after the World War II that meant the Soviet Union or the Communist Russia in popular saying. As a child what I understood from the Iron Curtain was that it was not easy to go to the Soviets, including the lands of the ancestors and the Turkic brethren, or any other socialist country of the era.