The latest maps from my Mapping Stereotypes project offer two very different takes on Europe. One is dedicated to Turkey and the other to Switzerland. I grouped them both in one post because they both represent a special case on the continent. First, Turkey’s place in Europe is always disputed, it doesn’t seem to matter that it has been a part of the major European political scene for more than 600 years. In comparison, at the time the Ottomans captured Constantinople, Russia was barely a regional power with no effect on anything west of the Dnieper river.
Switzerland, on the other hand, sprung into existence because a couple of reclusive city states wanted to form a military alliance to better isolate themselves from all the tricky European affairs (except the financial ones, of course). Switzerland’s neighbors have always secretly envied this small patch of land and the Swiss themselves have often thought of the rest of Europe as another planet that’s not particularly worth the exploration.
As usual, I want to warn everybody not to take these maps seriously because as I mentioned before, stereotyping is a dangerous business, it should be done in a controlled environment and you shouldn’t try it at home. OK?