Quote from: Anonymous romanian
We fought the Turks throughout the entire Midle Age time without getting any help from the so called westerner Christian brothers. While we were fighting these Turks, the Westerners were enjoying a luxurious, abundant life; they were quietly consuming the stolen richness from the colonies in Africa, South and North America, India, Oceania etc; when we were still standing up against the Turks and Tatars the westerners again peacefully were using the time and enjoying the peace for developing the arts, science and so on. When the Romanians where seating in saddles day and night to be there when the ottomans attack, the westerners built castles, palaces, huge luxuries churches what their decedents today are showing to the world with such an immense pride; what an irony! How ignorant!
In the quote above you can see at work the little sister of the romanian latinist propaganda, namely the medievalist propaganda. After the "Romania is a latin island in a slavic sea" slogan, we can witness now the "Romanian was a barrage that saved the West from the turks" slogan. The romanians are presented as relentless fighters and the western europeans as lazy bastards, whose civilizations could be built only because the romanian fought the turks and blocked the access to Western Europe. The romanians themselves could not have a great civilization, because all their resources were used in the fight against the Ottoman Empire. If it weren't for the romanians who sacrificed their own civilization, the western civilizations had not existed today. This propaganda serves two puposes. Firstly it "explains" why the romanians did not have a developed medieval civilization, like the peoples from western and central Europe. And secondly it tries a little emotional blackmail, wanting to make the western europeans feel sorry for the current state of the romanians, and help them in any way they could, in order to "pay their historical debt" toward those who saved the western civilization from the attack of the barbarian turks.
As I already said, the romanian propaganda is directed toward the acceptance of romanians as part of the western european civilization, because of their origin from italian colonists and their fight against the turkish hordes that threatened the west in the Middle Age. Of course, we are speaking about propaganda, so these assumptions are lies, the roman colonists arrived in Dacia were not italians and the romanians did not save Western Europe from an ottoman invasion. Actually the romanians fought alongside the turks on a number of occasions against the western armies, not because they wanted to, but because they were under turkish (ottoman) authority, so one of their duties was to supply the turkish army with food, horses, etc. and also to participate with some army corps (thousands of men) alongside the turks.
The romanian historians accept today that propaganda from the 19th and 20th centuries modified the true romanian history in order to gain quick acceptance from the western world. This does not stop the school textbooks to continue brainwashing the romanian children with the latinist and medievalist propaganda, because today the quick acceptance of the romanian immigrants in Western Europe depends also on this image of "latin people who fought hard in order to preserve the western civilizaton". Once again, the romanian propagandists demonstrate that they lack basic knowledge of european geography and history. But thinking that their audience is also lacking this knowledge and will believe the romanian propaganda is nothing more than wishful thinking. Debunking the propaganda is very easy to do by using romanian history books published after 1990, which are available for online ordering in every part of the world. Some are even translated in english or french, like the one mentioned below.
I provide another quotes from the book of Lucian Boia, who is a professor of history at the University of Bucharest. This time he speaks about the romanian-turkish relations in the Middle Age.
(shortened URL to the preview of the book on Google Books)
Raporturile cu turcii reprezintă un important capitol de istorie, dar şi de mitologie romānească. Imaginea mitologică este a unei lupte neīntrerupte şi a unor strălucite biruinţe obţinute de micile ţări romāne īmpotriva unui imens imperiu. Romānii şi-au salvat astfel fiinţa naţională, apărīnd totodată Europa creştină. Realitatea istorică este īnsă -- ca īntotdeauna -- mai complexă şi, īn bună măsură, diferită.
Turcii īşi īncep expansiunea īn Balcani pe la mijlocul secolului 14. Spre sfīrşitul secolului, cele două ţarate īn care se īmpărţise Bulgaria sīnt cucerite şi Imperiul Otoman ajnge la linia Dunării, la graniţa Ţări Romāneşti. Odată cu căderea Constantinopolului (1453), partida este definitiv pierdută de creştini īn Balcani. Tentativele occidentale de cruciadă anti-otomană (Nicopole, 1396; Varna, 1444) se vor sfīrşi īn dezastru. Turcii sīnt opriţi totuşi la Belgrad, unde suferă o īnfrīngere la 1456. Trei sferturi de veac mai tīrziu reiau īnsă expansiunea. Armata ungară este nimicită la Mohącs īn 1526, iar īn 1541 cea mai mare parte a Ungariei devine provincie turcească. De două ori turcii asediază şi Viena, īn 1529 şi 1683, de fiecare dată fără succes: este limita extremă a īnaintării lor spre Occident.
Ţările romāne se aflau īn prima linie. Luptele cu turcii s-au imprimat īn conştiinţa naţională mai mult ca oricare altă temă istorică. Vocaţia romānilor īn Evul Mediu (şi marea lor contribuţie la istoria europeană) ar fi fost să se războiască cu turcii, prelungită īncleştare, din care au ieşit de ceel mai multe ori victorioşi. Īn realitate, dacă adunăm anii de conflict, ajungem doar la cīteva decenii din jumătatea de mileniu de relaţii romāno-otomane. Romānii au cīştigat unele bătălii, turcii au cīştigat altele. Īnsă a cīştiga o bătălie nu īnseamnă a cīştiga războiul. Războaiele le-au cīştigat pīnă la urmă turcii. Rezultatul lor este incontestabil: intrarea pentru multă vreme a ţărilor romāne īn orbita otomană.
Cum de n-au cucerit turcii ţările romāne? Istoricii romāni şi-au tot pus această īntrebare. Cum de n-au avut soarta Ungariei, o ţară cu atīt mai mare şi aparent mai puternică? Răspunsul patriotic este lesne de intuit: turcii n-au cucerit ţările romāne fiindcă n-au fost capabili să o facă, dată fiind rezistenţa romānească. Interpretată astfel, istoria romānilor se transfigurează īn epopee eroică.
Unii istorici au īncercat totuşi să judece argumentele mai realist. P.P. Panaitescu aducea īn discuţie două argumente. Primul, uşor de sesizat la o simplă privire a hărţii, este acela că drumul turcilor spre inima Europei nu trecea prin ţările romāne. Teatrul romānesc era pentru ei oarecum periferic. Īnaintarea turcească s-a făcut pe linia Belgrad-Buda-Viena. De aceea a căzut Ungaria şi nu Ţara Romānească! Al doilea argument privea exploatarea economică a ţărilor romāne; indirect, prin monopolul comercial exercitat şi prin tribut turcii cīştigau mai mult decīt printr-o administrare directă. Īn sfărşit, o interpretare recentă dărīmă tot eşafodajul interpretărilor tradiţionale romāneşti: n-ar avea rost să īncercăm să răspundem la īntrebarea "de ce n-au cucerit turcii ţările romāne", pentru simplul motiv că, de fapt, le-au cucerit!
Sporadicele victorii romāneşti nu au īmpiedicat trecerea treptată a ţărilor romāne sub autoritatea otomană. Mai īntīi Ţara Romānească, cea mai expusă, apoi Moldova, urmate (īntr-o situaţie de ceva mai mare autonomie) de Transilvania, rămasă principat de sine stătător după dispariţia Ungariei. Iniţial nu a fost decīt plata unui tribut. Cu timpul īnsă, ţările romāne au intrat īn sistemul politic, militar şi economic otoman.
Bătăliile cu trurcii -- oricīt de puternic ar străluci īn amintirile istorice ale romānilor -- au avut consecinţe mai puţin īnsemnate decīt īncadrarea ţărilror romāne, timp de secole, īn sistemul otoman. Mai mult decīt un conflic prelungit, s-a petrecut o interferenţă a civilizaţiilor. Aşa au intrat īn limba romānă -- cu siguranţă, nu pe cīmpul de luptă! -- numeroasele cuvinte de origine turcă. Şi rolul romānilor īn apărarea Europei trebuie aşezat la proporţiile lui reale, cu atīt mai mult cu cīt drumul spre Europa Centrală nu trecea prin ţările romāne. Spre [anul] 1500 Apusul devenise suficient de puternic pentru a nu mai risca să cadă īn mīinile otomanilor. Faptul că turcii au ajuns de două ori īn faţa Vienei şi de două ori au fost īnfrīnţi nu are prea mare legătură cu istoria romānilor.
Lucian Boia: Romānia, ţară de fromtieră a Europei (editura Humanitas, 2007) - paginile 64-68
Relations with the Turks constitute an important chapter in the
history of the Romanians, but also in their mythology. The mytho-
logical image is of an uninterrupted struggle in which the little
Romanian lands won many glorious victories against a vast empire.
The Romanians thus preserved their national existence while at the
same time defending Christian Europe. The historical reality was, as
usual, more complex and substantially different.
The Turks began their expansion into the Balkans around the
middle of the 14th century. Towards the end of the century,
the two tsardoms into which Bulgaria was divided were conquered,
and the Ottoman Empire reached the Danube, the border of
Wallachia. The fall of Constantinople (1453) sealed the fate of the
Balkan Christians. Westem attempts at an anti-Ottoman crusade
(Nicopolis, 1396; Varna, 1444) had ended in disaster. The Turks were
finally stopped at Belgrade, where they were defeated in 1456.
However, three-quarters of a century later, they renewed their
expansion. The Hungarian army was destroyed at Mohącs in 1526,
and in 1541 the greater part of Hungary became a Turkish province.
The Turks twice laid siege to Vienna, in 1 529 and 1683, on both occassions without success; this was the extreme point of their advance
towards the West.
The Romanian lands lay in the front line. The wars with the Turks
have remained imprinted on the national consciousness more than
any other historical theme. The Romanians' vocation in the Middle
Ages (and their great contribution to European history) would
appear to have been to fight the Turks, in a prolonged struggle from
which they emerged victorious most of the time. In reality, the years
of conflict add up to only a few decades out of half a millennium of
Romanian-Ottoman relations. The Romanians won some battles, the
Turks won others. However, winning a battle does not mean
winning the war. lt was the Turks who won the wars in the end! And
their result is indisputable: for a long period, the Romanian lands
came within the Ottoman orbit.
Why did the Turks not conquer the Romanian lands? Romanian
historians have continually confronted this question. Why did these
areas not suffer the same fate as Hungary, a country so much larger
and apparently more powerful? The patriotic answer is easy to guess:
the Turks did not conquer the Romanian lands because resistance
was such that they were not able to. In this interpretation, the
Romanians history becomes transfigured as heroic epic.
Some historians tried, all the same, to reach a more realistic
judgement. P. P. Panaitescu [a 20th century romanian historian]
introduced two arguments into the discussion.
The first, which is easy to grasp by simply looking at the map, was that the Turks route towards the heart of Europe did not go through the Romanian lands; the Romanian theatre was thus rather peripheral for them. The Turkish advance was along the line Belgrade-Buda-Vienna, so Hungary fell rather than the Romanian lands!
The second argument concerned the economic exploitation
of the Romanian lands; indirectly, through the commercial
monopoly which they exercised and through the collection of
tribute, the Turks gained more than they could have obtained by
direct administration! A recent study has demolished the whole
scaffolding of traditional Romanian interpretations: there is no
point in trying to answer the question 'Why did the Turks not
conquer the Romanian lands?' for the simple reason that in fact they
did conquer them!
Sporadic Romanian victories did not prevent the gradual passing
of the Romanian lands under Ottoman control: first Wallachia,
which was the most exposed, and then Moldavia, followed (in a situ-
ation of somewhat greater autonomy) by Transylvania, which
remained a principality in its own right after the fall of Hungary. At
first, it was only a matter of paying tribute. ln time, however, the
Romanian lands entered the Ottoman political, military and
The battles with the Turks - however brightly they may shine in
the Romanians' historical memory - were less significant in their
consequences than the incorporation of the Romanian lands, for
centuries, into the Ottoman system. What took place was not so
much a prolonged conflict as an interference of civilizations. lt is in
this way - and certainly not on the battlefield! - that the many words
of Turkish origin entered the Romanian language. And the
Romanians' role in defending Europe needs to be seen in its true
proportions, especially as the road to Central Europe did not pass
through the Romanian lands. By around 1500, the West had become
sufficiently powerful to bein no danger of falling into Ottoman
hands. The fact that the Turks twice arrived before Vienna and were
twice beaten has little to do with the history of the Romanians.
Lucian Boia: Romania, borderland of Europe (Reaktion Books, 2001) - pages 65-68