What constitutes 'Eastern Europe'
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jun 2, 2013 3:13 AM Last Post By: everbrite
May 31, 2013 6:29 AM
What constitutes 'Eastern Europe'Even though the Baltic States are much further west than much of Western Europe I guess their inclusion makes sense as they were formerly part of the Eastern Bloc. But what is Cyprus doing on this list? It's further west than Greece which isn't (although it's further east than many of the Balkan and Central European States) and wasn't part of the Eastern Bloc or even aligned during the Cold War. Anyone have any ideas?
May 31, 2013 9:47 AM
1This is a topic much discussed several times before. There are no clear answers as to ´what is Eastern Europe´.
Even though the Baltic States are much further west than much of Western Europe
??? Did you have a look at the map? I wonder which are all these countries of western europe that are more to the east than the baltics...
But what is Cyprus doing on this list? It's further west than Greece
I think you are holding the map upside down...
May 31, 2013 10:19 AM
2Anyway, my opinion is that the Thorn Tree forum should abandon its actual "cold war" policy and instead of that make some new partitions... Fore example, in my opinion, Greece should be in the same category as Italy, Cyprus, Croatia, Albania, Turkey and Montenegro i.e., Mediterranean, but the countries like Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia, Poland, Russia should be in the same category i.e. Eastern Europe... As far as the countries from south of Caucasus are concerned, I would treat them as Middle east, because they are indeed a part of the Middle east. They are not part of Europe, so their the most logical position is the Middle east area within the new partition. Today's partition does not represent the countries in any other way, but the wrong one!!!
May 31, 2013 11:47 AM
3Please look at a map regarding Cyprus. It is considerably to the East, South of Turkey and west of Lebanon.
Greece used to be part of this branch and Turkey was not part of this branch at one point. Changes do get made but not without lots of discussion and angst. About every two years there is a long discussion about the name but never enough agreement to a change that it gets made.
What would you propose this branch be called?
Take a look at a map and try dividing the bulk on Europe in two. You will quickly see that if you don't include all of Russia but just from Moscow to Portugal, only two European countries are misplaced - Greece should be in the East and Austria but for a variety of reasons these two countries are not part of this branch.
Regarding the Caucasus, all of the former Soviet Union located in Europe in on this branch. And most travel to these countries is from Russia or Turkey, both of which are on this branch.
Bottom line, a division needed to be made and this is where the LP folks chose to make it. It is not a political statement or anything else at this time but more related to travel patterns, number of posts and other matters.
Flumy - most geographers consider the Caucasus to be part of Europe and the line dividing Europe and Asia to be further to the east - the Caspian Sea, the Ural Mountains, etc. part of Turkey is in Europe and part in Asia.
Edited by: everbrite
May 31, 2013 12:15 PM
4There is no serious geographer who could consider the Transcaucasia (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) as a part of Europe. There is no such a geographer that was still born! Transcaucasia, was, is and will be an alienable part of Asia!
Actual partition on TT forum is nothing but the political reflection of the old "Soviet era" cold war... Nothing more and nothing else, so, please, don't try to relativize the real facts... Just one example... Greece outside of this branch... For me, that is more than enough...
In my opinion, there is no such thing as it is mentioned on TT (Eastern Europe & the Caucasus)! Please, put in the same topic Turkey and Cyprus with Trans-siberian rail and Vilnius of Lithuania... It really doesn't make sense, to put it mildly...
What a shame for TT forum!!!
May 31, 2013 12:34 PM
May 31, 2013 4:24 PM
Many serious geographers consider the boundary going accross the main ridge of the
High Caucasus - that puts parts of Georgia and Azerbaijan lying on the southern slopes of the High Caucasus in Europe.
Some geographers also consider the border to follow roughly the Mtkvari river, putting most of Georgia and Azerbaijan in Europe:
Jun 1, 2013 12:33 AM
7There´s now a thread about Cyprus´ status going on on the Western Europe Branch. Funny that it is generating many replies and discussions, the longest thread since weeks I assume.
So if you´re looking for experts wouldbe experts (and people who like to discuss whatever and wherever) and don´t agree with the ´doesn´t care´ attitude in this important matter, have a look there. It will enrich you.
As for me, I don´t care ... so no urgency to add a link ;-)
Jun 1, 2013 2:56 AM
8Mea culpa on Cyprus - that's just a basic geography fail, for some reason I assumed it was further west and of course it's quite far east indeed. I still think though the division is both anomalistic and anachronistic. Preserving the post war settlement is one criteria albeit odd but not applied particularly consistently and of course doesn't explain Turkey and Cyprus.
A simple dividing line might make more sense but isn't there at the moment with Vienna at 22,23 E, Zagreb at 15.59 E, Lublijana at 14,50 E and Athens at 23,43 E. Having said that I think Ruth makes some sensible points although on balance I think some sort of cultural groupings would make more sense. Perhaps Western Europe, Middle Europe (essentially anywhere that was under the Austro Hungarian Empire) and ex Ottoman territories further east and north of there the former Soviet Union. It may be that those countries have no particular desire to be categorised by their former rulers but being in the Iron Curtain wasn't a whole lot of fun either and this is essentially the current arrangement.
Jun 1, 2013 6:10 AM
9The division has NOTHING to do with Eastern Europe bloc post WWII, politics or anything of that nature. It has to do with travel plans and the way most folks travel from place to place.
While cultural groupings might make some sense, often they don't make travel sense and hence the removal of Greece from this branch and its addition some years ago to the Western Europe branch and the addition of Turkey to this branch.
Turkey was added to this branch because most travel is from the Balkans and then onward to the Caucasus and not through the middle east. Cyprus remains on this branch because it is close to Turkey and much travel there is from Turkey or flights from Greece since there are no regular ferries any more.
Sorry but I can't imagine any division of Europe that would suit everyone's needs and desires.
Jun 1, 2013 10:12 PM
10'The division has NOTHING to do with Eastern Europe bloc post WWII, politics or anything of that nature. It has to do with travel plans and the way most folks travel from place to place'
Don't want to get into a lengthy debate but I find this very hard to accept. Our most recent trip was Germany/Austria/Czech Republic/Slovakia and Hungary which is a very logical plan and one that reflects the cultural and historical links those places all have in common. A distinction that puts one half of the former Austro Hungarian Empire in Western Europe and the other East can only reflect the fact that for 40 years one part was behind the iron curtain. This is undoubtedly convenient and may be the least bad way to divide a continent that is surprisingly resistant to systematisation but denying that it's based on the post war settlement is either mendacious or completely ignorant of history. In any case, like the other commenters, it's not something that keeps me awake at night but I was just interested to see if there was any grand organising principle and having found there isn't happy to consider the thread closed so thanks to all those who've chimed in (and corrected me on my appalling geography)
Jun 2, 2013 3:13 AM
There are just too many possibilities for how to organize these branches. Making the branch cover a smaller territory means that people would have to ask their questions on many more branches.
The grand organizing principle was simply not to make the number of countries per branch so small as to mean asking questions on dozens of branches while still considering the most common historically mentioned travel patterns. Revisions over the past 10 years to move Turkey into this branch and Greece out of this branch both were based almost exclusively on review of travel patterns mentioned on the branches.
In fact, most of the main responders to questions here about Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary can also answer questions about Germany and Austria but many on the Western Europe branch can't answer as well about Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
I am curious as to why you see this division as so inappropriate and what you would propose as a better division without creating any new branches that would further "Balkanize" Europe.
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