Image of the Turk in Games as an Antithesis
Schlagworte:Image of the Turk, Board Games, Playing Cards, Early Modern Period, the Ottomans
"The Turk" is a multifaceted concept that emerged in the late Middle Ages in Europe, and has gained new faces over the course of time until today. Being primarily a Muslim, the Turk usually connoted the antichrist, infidel, and the ultimate enemy. With such attributed qualities, the concept influenced European art and literature by providing a subject with negative visual and textual representations. Current scholarly corpus about representations of the Turk sufficiently investigates the subject, yet, without offering different reading and conclusion. This paper aims at introducing a new perspective to the image of the Turk by shedding light on its representations in early modern European board games and playing cards; thus, contributing to a nouvelle scholarly interest on the image of the Turk. It argues that, belonging to a familiar but relatively obscure world of games, board games and playing cards have the potential to reinforce an antithesis to the negative image of the Turk.