DE L’ILE DE COS A BODRUM ET AU-DELA : REPRESENTATIONS DE L’ALTERITE ET PRATIQUES FRONTALIERES ENTRE LA GRECE ET LA TURQUIE
Études balkaniques (Sofia) 2023, N 2
Institute for Mediterranean, European and Comparative Ethnology
Abstract: This paper discusses perceptions of alterity on the Greek island of Kos and analyses border crossing practices at the Greek-Turkish border in the Aegean. The paper differentiates between different categories of locals according to their ethnic and religious belonging (Greek Orthodox and Muslim Turks in Kos, and “mainland” Turks and Kos Turks in Turkey). In Kos, distancing strategies can be explained by competition for limited resources, as well as identity and visibility politics. Perceptions of Turkey and border crossing practices also differ according to ethnic lines. For ethnic Turks, Turkey represents a second homeland; for Greek Orthodox, a powerful neighbouring country with whom historical and political relations are difficult. As this paper shows, lived and shared experiences can, however, nuance the perception of others. The paper is based on ethnographic field research and interviews conducted by the author on the Greek island of Kos, and in Bodrum, Izmir and Ceşme in Western Turkey.
Keywords: Bordering practices, migration, minorities, identities, root tourism