Anti-Turkism, Turkophobia, Turcophobia or anti-Turkish sentiment is the hostility towards Turkish people, Turkish culture, the Ottoman Empire (Turkish Empire) and the Republic of Turkey. In late 19th century, William Ewart Gladstone firmly established Turcophobia as a shift in the British policy directed against Ottoman Empire.
Anti-Turkism does not always refer to just the Turks of Turkey but it can refer to various Turkic peoples and Balkan Muslims. This includes the Turkic peoples living in the Russian Federation, the Turkic states of the former Soviet Union, the autonomous Xinjiang Uyghur region of the People's Republic of China, the not recognized "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", and even also non-Turkic Balkan Muslims, particularly Bosniaks and ethnic Macedonians.
By the middle of the 1400s special masses called missa contra turcas (translated as "mass against Turks") were celebrated in various places in Europe, the message of these masses was that victory over the Turks was only possible with the help of God and that a Christian community was therefore necessary to withstand the cruelty of the Turks.
Bishop Fabri of Vienna (1536–41) claimed that:
In the 16th century about 2,500 publications about the Turks were spread around Europe (over a thousand of which were in German), in these publications the image of the 'bloodthirsty Turk' was imprinted on reader. In fact in the period of 1480 to 1610, twice as many books were published about the Turkish threat to Europe than about the discovery of the continents of America.
During this time the Ottoman Empire had conquered the Balkans and had been besieging Vienna. There was much fear in Europe about the Ottoman spread.
Philipp Melanchthon claimed that the Turks were the Red Jews - Jews because they circumcised their sons and had other Jewish manners and Jewish customs and Red because they were bloodhounds that murdered and warred.
Martin Luther had the view that the Turks invasion of Europe was Gods punishment of Christianity because it had allowed the corruption of both the Holy See and the Church. In 1518 when he defended his 95 theses, Luther claimed that God had sent the Turks to punish the Christians in the same way as he had sent war, plagues and earthquakes. The reply of Pope Leo X was the famous papal bull in which he threatened Luther with excommunication and attempted to portray Luther as a troublemaker who advocated capitulation to the Turks.
According to some theologians the word Turk came from "torquere" ("torture"), and according to another popular theory the Turks were identical with the Scythians who were considered a particularly cruel race.
Stories of the dog-Turk also gave Europe this negative image of the Turks. The dog-Turk was claimed to be a man-eating being, half animal half human with a dog’s head and tail. Military power and cruelty were the recurring attributes in all these claims about the origins of the Turks.
In Sweden, the Turks were designated the arch-enemy of Christianity. This is evident in a book entitled Luna Turcica eller Turkeske måne, anwissjandes lika som uti en spegel det mahometiske vanskelige regementet, fördelter uti fyra qvarter eller böcker ("Turkish moon showing as in a mirror the dangerous Mohammedan rule, divided into four quarters or books") which was published in 1694 and was written by the parish priest Erland Dryselius of Jönköping. In sermons the country's clergy preached about the Turks' general cruelty and bloodthirstiness and of how they systematically burned and plundered the areas they conquered. In a Swedish school book published in 1795 Islam was described as "the false religion that had been fabricated by the great deceiver Muhammad, to which the Turks to this day universally confess".
Many vices in the world were associated with the Turks. Some sayings:
*In Austrian rural areas you can sometimes still hear today how children are called in from play: "Es ist schon dunkel. Türken kommen. Türken kommen" ("It’s already dark, The Turks are coming. The Turks are coming").
Below are definitions given in dictionaries that can clearly demonstrate Anti-Turkism. It should be noted that since dictionaries are by definition descriptive and not prescriptive, this does not necessarily reflect an anti-Turkish bias of the editors, but rather anti-Turkish usage.
Özay Mehmet in his book Islamic Identity and Development: Studies of the Islamic Periphery mentions:
The ordinary Turks did not have a sense of belonging to a ruling ethnic group. In particular, they had a confused sense of self-image. Who were they: Turks, Muslims or Ottomans? Their literature was sometimes Persian, sometimes Arabic, but always courtly and elitist. There was always a huge social and cultural distance between the Imperial centre and the Anatolian periphery. As Bernard Lewis expressed it: "in the Imperial society of the Ottomans the ethnic term Turk was little used, and then chiefly in a rather derogatory sense, to designate the Turcoman nomads or, later, the ignorant and uncouth Turkish-speaking peasants of the Anatolian villages." (Lewis 1968: 1) In the words of a British observer of the Ottoman values and institutions at the start of the twentieth century: "The surest way to insult an Ottoman gentleman is to call him a 'Turk'. His face will straightway wear the expression a Londoner's assumes, when he hears himself frankly styled a Cockney. He is no Turk, no savage, he will assure you, but an Ottoman subject of the Sultan, by no means to be confounded with certain barbarians styled Turcomans, and from whom indeed, on the male side, he may possibly be descended."(Davey 1907: 209)
Handan Nezir Akmeşe, who describes the attempts of the Young Turk movement to ingrain nationalism among the Turkish speakers of the Ottoman empire prior to WWI:
One consequence was to reinforce these officers sense of their Turkish nationality, and a sense of national grievance arising out of the contrast between the non-Muslim communities, with their prosperous, European-educated elites, and "the poor Turks [who] inherited from the Ottoman Empire nothing but a broken sword and an old-fashioned plough." Unlike the non-Muslim and non-Turkish communities, they noted with some bitterness, the Turks did not even have a proper sense of their own national identity, and used to make fun of each other, calling themselves "donkey Turk"
Lawrence of Arabia who helped the Arabs during Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War made claims that he was raped by a Turkish officer the film Lawrence of Arabia caused a storm of protest and indignation in Turkey.
Another example was the Oscar winning film Midnight Express written by Oliver Stone, based on the book of the same title. The film is about a young American called Billy Hayes who has been given a long prison sentence after being arrested for possession of hash. The film had scenes where Billy Hayes was raped by fellow Turkish prisoners, though the book written by Hayes doesn't mention getting raped, but does admit consensual sex with another inmate. Oliver Stone has apologized for any offence, saying \"many hearts were broken in Turkey\" because of the movie.
Voltaire characterised the Turks as:
He also spoke of the need:
He accused the Turks of having destroyed Europes ancient heritage from :"the Orient’s Christian realm" and wrote:
Cardinal Newman described the Turks as:
He also said:
The New York Tribune told its readers in the year 1919: