“The Turk” in the Czech Imagination (1870s-1923)


In “The Turk” in the Czech Imagination (1870s-1923), Jitka Malečková describes Czechs’ views of the Turks in the last half century of the existence of the Ottoman Empire and how they were influenced by ideas and trends in other countries, including the European fascination with the Orient, images of “the Turk,” contemporary scholarship, and racial theories. The Czechs were not free from colonial ambitions either, as their attitude to Bosnia-Herzegovina demonstrates, but their viewpoint was different from that found in imperial states and among the peoples who had experienced Ottoman rule. The book convincingly shows that the Czechs mainly viewed the Turks through the lenses of nationalism and Pan-Slavism – in solidarity with the Slavs fighting against Ottoman rule.
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Jitka Malečková is a Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Charles University in Prague. She specializes in modern Ottoman history, gender and nationalism, terrorism, and relations between Europe and the Ottoman Empire and has published extensively on these subjects.
Acknowledgments VII
List of Figures IX
Introduction: Why Czechs and Turks?

1 The Return of the “Terrible Turk”
 1 The Turkish Wars and Czech Variations on the Turkish Theme
 2 “The Turk” as a Proxy
 3 The Oppressors of Our Slavic Brethren
 4 The Turkish Race
 5 The Longevity of Stereotypes
 6 Conclusion

2 Czechs Abroad
 1 Getting Ready to Travel
 2 Entering the Orient
 3 Backward or Exotic?
 4 Turkish Men (To Say Nothing of the Dogs)
 5 Women
 6 The Turks and Others
 7 Conclusion

3 Civilizing the Slavic Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina
 1 What’s in a Name?
 2 The Orient at One’s Doorstep (Safe Even for Ladies)
 3 Occupation as Liberation
 4 Czech Colonial Ambitions
 5 Conclusion

4 “Our Mission in Oriental Studies”
 1 The Founding Fathers of Czech Oriental Studies
 2 Oriental Studies “as Translation”
 3 Finding a Voice of Their Own
 4 Scholars and Czech Society
 5 Conclusion

Conclusion: The New Republics