Thursday, November 22, 2018

What's the Difference Between Turkey and Greece?

Wild Turkey (photo: Dimus)
Is there anything to Greece and Turkey, some cosmic correspondence between the names of two sovereign nations and the fact that replacing the name of Greece with its homonym results in a fact of culinary life? Turkey has been in the news lately due to the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi. But that turkey which is poultry produces grease when you cook it. It’s natural to chalk this up to coincidence. However, here you have two countries in nearby parts of the world whose very existence is a perfect statement about what goes on when you roast a bird. From a historical point of view, of course, the existence of turkey had nothing to do with the emergence of Greece, as a great power in the ancient world and the home of philosophers like Plato and Aristotle who provide the cornerstone of Western civilization. Greece wasn’t like Eve who supposedly came from Adam’s rib, though grease definitely is a byproduct of some of the more cartilaginous parts of the turkey. What can be noted is that Greece and Turkey are both ancient civilizations. Turkey’s past might be a bit more nomadic though Turkey too produced its share of great poets. However, noticing a linguistic connection may point to something akin to Noam Chomsky's universal grammar. If you travel to Macedonia and make stops at Greek and Turkish cities, you are, in fact, making a connection that encompasses everything from geopolitics to the realities of your Thanksgiving Day feast.

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