Where would you draw the borderline of Europe?

Travel Forums Europe Where would you draw the borderline of Europe?

1. Posted by Gerrit_BE (Full Member 83 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I had a discussion with a friend lately on the actual borders of Europe. He has the opinion that Turkey is a European country and not just a country with a tiny piece of soil in Europe. Obviously he bases himself on cultural facts and own interpretations rather than the official agreement that Asia begins when crossing the Bosphorus.

But it may be an interesting debate what the actual border of Europe is. Do we only need to look on the map and draw a line, or can we consider countries like Cyprus and Israel as European because they are culturally closer to Europe than to Asia?

And even when only basing the judgement on maps: it seems there's even still disagreements there as well. In some resources I checked, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Cyprus were considered Asian countries. Other resources claimed they're all parts of Europe.
Also, some claim the Canary Islands are full parts of Europe despite being further south than most of the north African countries. And what about Greenland? Geographically you can say it's a part of North America but politically it definitely has more affiliation with Europe (it used to be a EU member even)

Where would you draw the true borders of Europe??

2. Posted by Ursus (Budding Member 48 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

This kind of debate are always interesting to talk about... ;) As a student of geography I can say it's hard to judge and draw such a line... There are several opinion within our department as well. I think the major problem comes out because of the compact continental part of Euroasian plate with no huge sea between and strong currents (trade, migration of people...) in history. Probably we could draw two lines - consider absolute (coordinates) and relative (geopolitical, cultural) geographical position... I hardly decide which one would be better / actual border nowadays... I think that in general borders become more and more porous and so less evident as result of information technology in 21. century... meaning whole world not just Europe becomes one.

Otherwise questions and debates about borders can be contradictory on even smaller places e.x. in which part of Europe would you place Slovenia? Just for fun or some consideraton... :)

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5672 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Based on language, slovenia is eastern europe. Based on landscapes and relatively wealth, I would place it in central europe.

But for europe itself, it actually is really difficult to draw a line. But officially I am almost 100% sure that the line is drawn by the Ural mountains to the Caspian see, including Azerbaidzjan, Armenia and Georgia. And yes, the Bosporus `officially` draws the line, be it a geographic one and not a cultural one. But if you consider the whole of Turkey to be european, then Kurdistan is european to, and the Kurds are actually people without their own country, but living in Iraq, Syria and Iran as well. Do these parts of these countries belong to Europe as well then??

Israel is Asian. Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the states aren`t european are they, just because they have many similarities with Europe.
Cyprus is a little bit difficult i agree, being part (asian) turkish. Canary Islands and Greenland are geologically African and American, and the Canary Islands is european as well.
Greenland I find the most difficult, being danish, but almost always put on the american continent as well.
So not 100% sure about this island borders on the western side of europe.

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Good question.
I would not include Morocco, latvia, estonia or lithuania as Europe, yet they are in my travel guide to Europe.


5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5672 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Mel,
I am really surprised by your post. Why would you not count the baltic states as European?

Morocco isĀ“nt Europe for sure, I think that`s clear for everyone.....I hope.

cheers, michael

6. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

According to (most) Slovenes, they are Central Europeans, and definitely NOT Balkans.

  • shrugs*

I'm a cartographer, and depending on the specific project/customer, I have about 27 different variations on Europe that I have to use. There is no definition that everybody will agree on, so you makes your choices, you takes your picks.