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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Dr Elisabeth Kirtsoglou

Kirtsoglou, E. (2006). Phantom menace: What junior Greek army officers have to say about Turks and Turkey. South European Society and Politics 11(1): 163-177.

Author(s) from Durham


This chapter focuses on the discourse of low-rank Greek army officers about the Turks and the state of Turkey. This is a combination of the hegemonic narratives promoted by the Greek state and other forms of conventional, informal rhetoric. Concentrating on the Greek and Turkish states rather than on the respective populations, the officers reveal a form of nationalism built on seemingly rational arguments as opposed to sentimental reactions. Their struggle to think globally, however, does not necessarily allow them to disengage from a view of the world order that is very much based on local, culturally informed perceptions of micro-level social interaction. Despite their attempt to analyse the current situation in terms of international relations, the subjects of this study do not abstain from recycling hypothetical scenarios and conspiracy theories that ultimately present Greece and Turkey as predictably non-sovereign countries whose policies are dictated by larger and more powerful interests, states and coalitions.