Words on the Turk
Attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
"I'm talking about the Turks... The Turk that resembles a merciless hurricane, a terrible sea and an unforgiving thunderbolt when attacking his enemy; is like a dawn wind and a lucid lake beside friends and unarmed enemies. Do not intimidate this wind which opens its heart to you, because to turn this dazzling lake into a roaring sea will be such a carelessness as to offend nature itself."
Attributed to Italian epic poet and dramatist Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)
"Among all nations, the Turks are most virtuous and the only nation of people where one will have no qualms to strike up a friendship. If you visit a village that is not under foreign influence yet; you can experience and learn the true meaning of hospitality there."
Attributed to British antiquarian and topographer William Martin Leake (1777-1860)
"As a race and nation, I believe Turks are the foremost and noblest among the societies living in the expanse of empires. Their religious, social and traditional virtues are sources of admiration and appreciation for the detached observer."
Attributed to French writer, poet and politician, Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine (1790-1869)
"Today I am a prisoner, I am a slave of the Turks. They have done what water, iron and fire could not do to me, they have enslaved me. Only I have no chain to bind my feet, I am not in any prison, I am free to do what I like... but now I am a slave of clemency, nobleness and courtesy. The Turks have bound me in a chain of diamonds. If only you knew how sweet it is to live as a free slave amongst such a generous, dignified and civilised race of people."
Attributed to King Charles XII of Sweden (1682–1718)