middle East

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Demarcation of the Middle East

The Middle East is a geographical name that is generally used today for the Arab states of the Middle East and Israel . In particular, the region of the Fertile Crescent and the Arabian Peninsula belong to the Middle East. Often, Cyprus , Turkey (in some cases only Anatolia ), Egypt (which is mainly in North Africa) and Iran are also included.

Historically, the term “Middle East” has referred to the area of ​​the Ottoman Empire outside Europe since the 19th century .

The German term Middle East overlaps with the English term Middle East , but is not to be equated with it (see below ) .


Historical significance of "Middle East": Territories of the Ottoman Empire outside Europe from 1830 to 1920

The term Middle East is coined from a European perspective that goes back to that of the Roman Empire . After the final division of the empire in 395 AD, the Western Roman Empire (Imperium Romanum Occidentalis) and the Eastern Roman Empire (Imperium Romanum Orientalis) emerged. After the end of the Western Roman Empire around AD 476, the title “Emperor of the West” (occidentalis) was inherited by the Empire of Charlemagne , later the “ Holy Roman Empire ”, whereas the Eastern Roman Emperor had the secondary title “Emperor of the East” “ (Orientalis) wore. It was therefore a Rome-centered worldview that was adopted in the areas of the Roman successor states in Europe as well as in the Islamic Empire . From this point of view, the countries of the Middle East are in the "East", which means that there is extensive overlap with the terms " Near East ", " Orient " and "Middle East".

near and Middle East

In German, a distinction is made between the Near East, the Middle East ( South Asia , Afghanistan and often Iran) and the Far East . Creates confusion at times that the region of the Middle East in English as Middle East and in many Middle Eastern languages translated respectively as "Middle East" is referred to, including Arabic الشرق الأوسط asch-scharq al-awsat , DMG aš-šarq al-ausaṭ , Hebrew המזרח התיכון haMizrach haTichon , Turkish Orta Doğu , Kurdish rojhilata navîn and Persian خاور میانه, DMG ḫāwar-e miyāne . The G8 definition of the Middle East even includes all of North Africa (countries bordering the Mediterranean).

In English, in addition to the Middle East, there is also the term Near East , which originally corresponded to the historical Middle East term. The British term Near East was used from around 1850 until the end of the Ottoman Empire for the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire without Iran. At that time the Middle East referred to the area from Iran via Afghanistan and the Caucasus to Central Asia . If it is still used today, it is in an unspecified meaning. Many use it synonymously with "Middle East", the American dictionary Merriam Webster defines it as the countries in Southwest Asia and Northeast Africa from Libya to Afghanistan , and archaeologists, geographers and historians understand it primarily Anatolia , the Levant and Mesopotamia .

Orient, Middle East

In a more religious-cultural sense, Orient or Orient is mostly used for the area of ​​the Middle East in a political or geographical sense; the Near East is blurred according to the Near East . The world of the Orient employed many European poets and writers, for example, see Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's West-Eastern Divan , Hermann Hesse's novel Journey to the East or the adventurous Orient-tales of the Hermann von Pückler-Muskau , the bestsellers were and to tell figure of Munchausen led . In terms of culture and morals, the Orient is a collection of contrary attributions and fantastic ideas in the mirror image of Western culture. One can say that the Orient is in this religious-cultural-historical sense what the Occident , the West , is not.

Overview of states, areas and regions

State , with flag Area
Population 2017 Population density
(per km²) 2017
capital city GDP 2016 GDP per capita 2016 currency Government system Official language coat of arms
Arabian Peninsula :
KuwaitKuwait Kuwait 17,820 4,136,528 232 Kuwait $ 136 billion $ 26,000 Kuwaiti dinar Constitutional monarchy Arabic Coat of arms of Kuwait.svg
BahrainBahrain Bahrain 665 1,492,584 1,964 Manama $ 32 billion $ 24,100 Bahraini dinar Constitutional monarchy Arabic Emblem of Bahrain.svg
OmanOman Oman 212,460 4,636,262 15th Muscat $ 63 billion $ 16,000 Omani rial Absolute Monarchy Arabic National emblem of Oman.svg
QatarQatar Qatar 11,437 2,639,211 227 Doha $ 167 billion $ 60,700 Qatari riyal Absolute Monarchy Arabic Emblem of Qatar.svg
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 1,960,582 32,938,213 15th Riad $ 640 billion $ 20,100 Saudi riyal Absolute Monarchy Arabic Coat of arms of Saudi Arabia.svg
United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 82,880 9,400,145 112 Abu Dhabi $ 371 billion $ 37,700 UAE dirham Federal Constitutional Monarchy Arabic Emblem of the United Arab Emirates.svg
YemenYemen Yemen 527.970 28.250.420 54 Sanaa $ 27 billion $ 1,000 Yemen rial republic Arabic Emblem of Yemen.svg
Levant :
IsraelIsrael Israel 20,770, of which Negev desert: 12,000 (≈ 60%) Including Golan Heights 22,072 km² 8,321,570 384 Jerusalem $ 318 billion $ 37,200 New shekel Parliamentary republic Hebrew Coat of arms of Israel.svg
Palastina autonomous areasPalestine Palestine Gaza Strip 360 ≈ 1,100,000 to 1,387,276 3,055 to 3,853 Gaza New shekel Arabic Palestinian National Authority COA.svg
Palastina autonomous areasPalestine Palestine districts West Bank 5,860 ≈ 1,500,000 to 2,274,929 256 to 388 Ramallah New shekel Arabic , Hebrew Palestinian National Authority COA.svg
JordanJordan Jordan 92,300 9,702,353 109 Amman $ 39 billion $ 5,500 Jordanian dinar Constitutional monarchy Arabic Coat of arms of Jordan.svg
LebanonLebanon Lebanon 10,452 6,082,357 595 Beirut $ 52 billion $ 11,300 Lebanese pound republic Arabic Coat of arms of Lebanon.svg
SyriaSyria Syria 185.180 18,269,868 100 Damascus Syrian pound Presidential Republic Arabic Coat of arms of Syria.svg
North Africa :
EgyptEgypt Egypt 1,001,449 97.553.151 98 Cairo $ 332 billion $ 3,700 Egyptian pound Presidential Republic Arabic Coat of arms of Egypt.svg
IranIran Iran 1,648,195 81.162.788 50 Tehran $ 377 billion $ 4,700 Iranian rial Islamic Republic Persian Emblem of Iran.svg
TurkeyTurkey Turkey 783,562 80.745.020 105 Ankara $ 857 billion $ 10,700 Turkish lira Presidential Republic Turkish Emblem of Turkey.svg
IraqIraq Iraq 437.072 38.274.618 88 Baghdad $ 167 billion $ 4,600 Iraqi dinar Parliamentary Republic (under construction) Arabic , Kurdish Coat of arms of Iraq.svg

supporting documents

See also

Portal: Middle East  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the Middle East


  • Jeremy Salt: The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands . University of California Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-520-26170-9 .
  • Bernhard Chiari , Dieter H. Kollmer (ed.) With the collaboration of Martin Rink : Guide to the history of the Middle East. 2nd revised edition, on behalf of the Military History Research Office , Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn and others. 2009, ISBN 978-3-506-76759-2 .
  • Pure amber: From Gaza to Geneva. The Geneva Peace Initiative of Israelis and Palestinians . Wochenschau-Verlag, Schwalbach / Ts 2005.
  • Peter Pawelka, Lutz Richter-Bernburg (ed.): Religion, culture and politics in the Middle East . VS Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-531-14098-1 .
  • Volker Perthes : Secret Gardens - The New Arab World . Goldmann, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-442-15274-7 .
  • Volker Perthes: From War to Competition - Regional Politics and the Search for a New Arab-Middle Eastern Order . Nomos Verlag, 2000, ISBN 3-7890-6712-1 .
  • Abdoldjavad Falaturi (Ed.): Islam: Space - History - Religion. Volume 1, The Islamic Orient, Cologne 1990.
  • Margret Boveri : Deserts, Minarets and Mosques - In the car through the ancient Orient . With a foreword by Peter Scholl-Latour . wjs-Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-937989-06-4 (travel report).
  • Alfred Schlicht: The Arabs and Europe . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2008.

Web links

Wiktionary: Middle East  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b Middle East. Bibliographisches Institut & FA Brockhaus AG, 2000.
  2. See blessing of the Roman bishop Urbi et orbi .
  3. Even in today's Arab world , between "the place of sunrise" ( Arabic المشرق, DMG al- Mašriq ) east of today's Libya and "the place of the sunset" ( Arabic المغرب, DMG al- Maġrib ) to the west of Egypt, whereby this geographical dividing line corresponds approximately to the previous border line between the Western and Eastern Roman Empire after its division after 395 AD.
  4. Near East . In: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2008.
    Middle East . In: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2008 (both in English; accessed November 28, 2008)
  5. World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved November 18, 2017 .
  6. ^ IMF Data . In: IMF . ( imf.org [accessed November 18, 2017]).
  7. ^ A b Bennett Zimmerman, Roberta Seid, Michael L. Wise: The Million Person Gap: The Arab Population in the West Bank and Gaza. (PDF; 2.13 MB) 2006.
    Bennett Zimmerman, Michael Wise: Defusing the demographic time bomb. ( Memento of December 28, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Spring 2008, inFocus, Vol. 2 (1) (English; accessed November 28, 2008)
    Yoram Ettinger: The Palestinian census: Smoke & mirrors. Ynet. February 11, 2008, published on israelinsider (accessed November 28, 2008)
  8. a b Palestinian Census 2007: Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (February 2008). Population, housing and establishment Census-2007. Press conference on the preliminary findings (Population, buildings, housing units and establishments). (PDF; 147 kB) p. 14, from the pages of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (Arabic, English) accessed November 28, 2008
  9. The World Factbook ( en ), United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), November 14, 2006, cia.gov The Million Person Gap: The Arab Population in the West Bank and Gaza; B. Zimmerman, R. Seid and ML Wise; The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University; February, 2006 The Million Person Gap: The Arab Population in the West Bank and Gaza (PDF; 2.13 MB) Sergio Della Pergola, "Letter to the editor", Azure , 2007, no. 27, azure.org.il ( Memento of May 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Sergio Della Pergola criticizes the authors of the study on the “Palestinian Census 2007” for serious statistical and methodological deficiencies.

  10. Martin Gehlen : The Middle East as we know it emerged exactly 100 years ago when the British and French drew new borders - a betrayal for the Arabs, a disaster for the region . Zeit Online , May 16, 2016

Coordinates: 33 °  N , 36 °  E