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The Balkans only became the Balkans from the late nineteenth century, a designation that brought with it connotations of otherness, non-Europe, or only sort of Europe. Before that much of southeastern Europe was simply “Turkey in Europe” or the Near East as newspapers tended to call the region. Those parts of the Balkans which were not part of Turkey in Europe were, of course, also ruled by imperial powers, either Austrian or Venetian.
A European destinyL, a review of "The Great Cauldron: a History of Southeastern Europe"by Marie-Janine Calic, trans Elizabeth Janik. Harvard University Press, 724 pp. In Dublin Review of Books, 1/2/2020.