LETTER: Europe and Asia Have Always Overlapped in History and Geography

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Sir: Roger Martin, commenting on Turkey's possible entry into the European Union, asks (Letters, 8 October): 'Now that 'Europe' extends to Kurdistan, do you wish to drop its historic geographic meaning altogether, and become a purely socio-economic term embracing potentially Morocco, Singapore, Uruguay, or Ghana? Of if there are still limits, where are they?'

As if in prior answer Paul Beardsmore stated (Letters, 5 October) that certain politicians such as M Giscard d'Estaing 'recognise a distinct geographical area bounded by the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Caucasus, the Urals, and the Atlantic Ocean'. Actually, the Mediterranean Sea is, and has been a highway, not an obstacle, to human intercourse. Thus the Roman Empire was essentially a united Mediterranean Basin state. And, as previously pointed out, the EU extends into Asia with Cyprus belonging to it, not far from the coast of Syria. In fact it could have been pointed out that the EU (then the EC) had extended into Asia ever since 1981 when Greece joined. …