With ties to both the Middle East and Europe, Turkey has an intertwined national identity. On a visit to Kusadasi, Turkey during August 2008, I witnessed this duality in its full effect. My tour guide told me that Turkish people consider themselves to be European and most Turkish businesses and merchants had signs proclaiming proudly that they accept euros (Turkish lira are the official currency of Turkey). Though Turkey is predominantly Muslim, one would not know it from the Westernized styles of dress. Still, the country is also heavily influenced by the Middle East, from the mosques to the intricate and brightly colored rugs to the food.
The country currently has neighborhood status with the European Union and put in a bid to become a full member in 1999. In 2010, Turkey still has not been accepted into the European Union as a full member. Turkey's primary trade is with the European Union but also has substantial trade with several Middle Eastern and Middle Eastern influenced countries and governments such as Georgia, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority and Syria ("Trade: Turkey"). Because tourism media is about creating a destination's image and branding it, it is necessary to consider Turkey's standing in the world when considering its tourism media. More specifically, what aspects of Turkey are emphasized in tourism media and how, if at all, do they reflect Turkey's aspirations of joining the European Union?
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